Hoghton Tower attains Welcome to Excellence

Visitors to an ancient manor house and country estate near Preston are to benefit from excellence in customer service after staff recently undertook world class training.

Staff from Hoghton Tower participated in the respected Welcome to Excellence training programme to bring them up to date with the latest customer service techniques and best practice.

Management, administration, housekeeping and catering staff, guides and volunteers at the historical visitor destination took advantage of free ‘Welcome Host Gold’ customer service course which was funded by the Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) programme.

Leyland-based specialists in workforce training, The Via Partnership (Via), hold the North West licence to deliver Welcome to Excellence, one of the most successful customer service training initiatives in the UK. Last year Via also became an approved delivery partner for the LSS programme offering qualifying businesses the opportunity to upskill their workforce with free training alongside an accredited qualification.

James Dean, Hoghton Tower general manager, said: “It was a great course and the team all really enjoyed it - it got them all thinking outside the box and motivated about customer service so I’m very happy with it.”

Helen Aldous, Via’s training manager, said: "The Welcome Host Gold course provides delegates with an insight into customer expectations and assists them to deliver the highest levels of customer service on a consistent basis. Staff benefit from attending an enjoyable, interactive day which leads to a nationally recognised Welcome to Excellence certificate. The training also ensures that the business gains the competitive edge through building repeat business and customer loyalty."

The customer service training involved staff attending a Welcome Host Gold one-day course which gave them the knowledge to then complete the City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Customer Service Delivery in the Workplace. Participants were asked to complete a variety of tasks including written questions and workplace observations. Businesses who train 50 per cent of their staff on any Welcome to Excellence programme are given a charter certificate and use of the national Welcome to Excellence logo on any marketing materials, thereby highlighting their commitment to excellence in customer service.