People 1st Training Company is giving small businesses 5,000 free passes to its customer service online learning programme in the run up to Christmas.
The 90-minute online beginners' course is on offer for businesses with up to 250 staff and includes tips on how to connect with customers, the best way to accommodate the needs of disabled guests, or those with different cultural expectations.
Designed for people who have never had official customer service training, the course is recognised with a certificate from online course provider WorldHost Insights. It is hoped that the course could be suitable for newly-recruited or temporary employees who may not have had much customer service or front-of-house experience, especially in the run up to the busy Christmas period.
The online nature of the programme means it is designed so that staff can use it before or after shifts, or during less busy times at work, and can take the course at their own pace without incurring additional costs for their employers.
This particular course was offered to the 70,000 volunteer "Games Makers" at the London Olympic Games 2012, and has also been used to benefit customer-facing businesses such as McDonald's.
Sharon Glancy, managing director of the People 1st Training Company, said: "We appreciate that this is a hectic time for hospitality businesses, which makes it especially difficult to release staff for formal training. Free access to our WorldHost Insights is our Christmas present to the industry!"
Businesses can claim their free passes by filling in an online registration form at http://sme.worldhost.co.uk. The People 1st Training Company offers leadership, management and service training courses to businesses in hospitality, travel and tourism.