Two AA Inspectors arrived at Arkell’s Brewery recently, but they weren’t there to check on the facilities, but to provide top-notch customer service training to Arkell’s pub staff.
This is all part of a brand new initiative by Arkell’s to boost the levels of customer service offered across is estate of pubs. Run by the Run by AA Hotel Services in conjunction with People 1st Training Company, the WorldHost customer service training programme was used to train thousands of staff and volunteers for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics. Now, Arkell’s is offering the training programme to all its managed houses and tenants pubs.
The AA Inspectors, Garry Baldwin and Stephen Wilkinson, spent time with the first Arkell’s group going through key customer service skills. Garry said: “You can’t teach hospitality, either you’ve got it or you haven’t. What we are doing is fine tuning skills and giving everyone practical advice, tips and hints to make sure that customers are treated well and considerately at all times.”
Garry and Stephen have both experienced poor customer service in their jobs. Garry explained: “I remember two members of a hotel reception complaining that their boss had told them not to ignore guests. Sadly they were completely ignoring me as I waiting to be served. They obviously hadn’t been on our customer service course!”
Stephen added: “Every guest is different so staff must be always alert to different needs and requirements.”
Brewery director, George Arkell, said: “Good customer service is an important element for pubs. A hearty welcome will keep customers coming back and that’s what we are trying to encourage across our estate of pubs.”
Sharon Glancy, managing director of the People 1st Training Company, added: “Customer service is a big challenge for UK businesses. Almost two-thirds of hospitality businesses say that their staff’s customer handling skills need improving and that’s why we brought WorldHost training to the UK. It’s great to see Arkell’s going the extra mile to invest in their staff’s service skills – customers will be sure to notice the warm welcome they receive!”