Delivering Service Excellence – what’s it all about?

Last week I had the pleasure of observing one of the famed 100 Thousand Welcomes courses, run by one of our approved training providers, Ian Hunt.   Ian had kindly agreed to let me sit in on his day-long ‘Delivering Service Excellence’ session so that I would be able to pass on first-hand experience of the course.

The day started at 9.15 am, as attendees began to drift into the airy Champions’ Room at the Golf Practice Centre, St Andrews. Tea, coffee, shortbread and Ian all stood by ready to welcome them.  By 9.30 all the participants had assembled and Ian took the floor. From the start the day was very dynamic and participative, but also very objective focussed. After outlining the topics for the day, Ian had each attendee introduce themselves with their name and place of work, but also with the most memorable, positive service experience of which they had been a part.

With this interactive slant, the delegates soon warmed up, as they worked in different groups to complete the various tasks that Ian had set (from a quiz about St Andrews and Scotland – including ‘Why is the thistle Scotland’s national emblem?’ and ‘How many top-class golf courses are within a ten-mile drive from St Andrews?’ – to creating a poster and presentation of the key factors of service excellence).

The day was broken up into five training sessions:

Session 1 – Fife and Scottish tourism

Session 2 – Meeting and exceeding customer and guest expectations

Break – tea, coffee, and homemade scones

Session 3 – How to demonstrate a Positive Attitude

Lunch – soup and sandwiches at the Eden Clubhouse

Session 4 – Dealing with feedback (taking appropriate action and recording)

Break – more tea, coffee and shortbread

Session 5 – Improving in the future

Before lunch, participants were asked to reflect on their current work practices, rating themselves and looking for ways in which they could further strive for service excellence. Before leaving, the delegates filled out an action plan to take back into their workplaces and work on with their employers. Only if they send the completed forms back to Ian would participants receive their ‘Delivering Service Excellence’ certification.

A big thank you to all the employers who supported the St Andrews Skills Academy by sending along delegates, to Dorothy Murphy and the lovely staff at the Golf Practice Centre for accommodating us so seamlessly again, and of course to Ian for providing a fantastic training experience for attendees and observers alike!

If you would be interested in sending your staff on a 100k Welcomes course, or in attending yourself, please visit the St Andrews Skills Academy website or leave comments below.

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