A GROUP of Forres volunteers have been given training to help them excel in customer service.
Representatives from the Forres Heritage Trust and Forres Area Community Trust took part in a day-long WorldHost workshop.
WorldHost is an internationally recognised programme setting the industry benchmark for businesses and their staff, ensuring that high quality customer service standards are integral to their operation. It has already been used to train over 10 per cent of Scotland’s tourism workforce and represents an investment of over £2million since it was launched in Scotland.
The WorldHost training programmes, which originated from Canada, were first brought to the UK by performance and talent management expert People 1st to prepare local businesses in and around London for the influx of international visitors for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Last year, Moray Speyside was awarded WorldHost®Regional Destination status in recognition of excellent customer service across the region. It was awarded the status after businesses in the service and tourism sectors put at least 50% of their staff through the WorldHost Principles of Customer Service course.
The Forres Heritage Trust which relies heavily on volunteers to support its work decided to offer the training to ensure that visitors to Nelson’s Tower and the Tolbooth which it is responsible for, have the best experience possible.
Grace Reid, a trustee with the Trust said: “We were given the opportunity to carry out the training in collaboration with FACT and we eager to take part. We have a wonderful core of volunteers who do a fabulous job in welcoming visitors to Nelsons Tower and at our events in the Tolbooth, and we felt the WorldHost training was a great opportunity to provide extra support to those people who give up their free time to support us.”
She added: “The training was invaluable and covered customer service, welcoming visitors, how to give clear information, how to make first impressions last and listening skills.”
She added: “It also focussed on the benefits of knowing how to promote other amenities in the area.”
The Forres Heritage Trust stages numerous evets at the historically Tolbooth throughout the year including Winter Talks with guest speakers, photographic exhibitions and musical nights.
It also protects the heritage of Nelson’s Tower and between April and September the monument is a tourist attraction with people being able to ascend the building which sits on Cluny Hill.
Debbie Herron, manager of Forres Area Community Trust said “The World Host Customer Service Training programme is one of the best in the world. We know that volunteers benefit from the training and it makes all the difference to the engagement we have with the public.”
She continued: “It was great that FACT could work with Forres Heritage Trust to offer this training to our volunteers for the benefit of the area.”