Skills for success

Quality customer service must be at the core of an operator’s business

PROVIDING good customer service isn’t just important, it’s vital to a venue’s success.

That’s the view of Nicola Reid of Diageo Learning for Life, who told SLTN that it “is incredibly important for businesses to invest in employee customer service training”.

“In the on-trade there are a number of important attributes for staff to deliver good customer service,” she said.

“These include efficient service, local knowledge and strong presentation, along with soft skills such as a professional attitude, understanding customer needs and an attentive manner.”

This was echoed by Morag Beattie, owner of MB Training, who said “well-run, clean premises with attentive, friendly and, of course, well-trained staff all leads to good customer service”, which she said “is of paramount importance in licensed premises”.

But what steps does good customer service include?

“Acknowledging customers as they arrive gives a good, lasting impression and puts the customer at ease,” said Beattie.

“Being attentive to the customer’s needs is of paramount importance throughout their visit, irrespective of how busy premises are.”

It is incredibly important for businesses to invest in employee customer service training.

Reid of Diageo Learning for Life, meanwhile, reckons that health and safety, brand advocacy and workplace efficiency are also important – and said there is a wealth of courses for operators to choose from.

“There are many training schemes which employers can take advantage of, such as the recently-launched Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality Elevator course, which we run in partnership with the Springboard Charity UK,” she said.

“Hospitality Elevator is aimed at over 18s currently working on part-time or zero-hour contracts in bartending roles, with a desire to increase their level of responsibility and develop skills to aid career development – and is completely free.”

Louise Ramsay of DG Training said the firm offers various customer service training courses, including SQA Customer Service: Principles and Practice Award SCQF Level 5.

Reid of Diageo Learning for Life added that no matter what approach operators choose to take, when it comes to training staff in customer service, it’s a topic which must be regularly revisited.

“It goes without saying that to keep service standards high, training must be refreshed regularly, in line with the ever-changing nature of the sector,” explained Reid.

“The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, so we need to ensure we keep up to date with the latest trends and consumer demands.”