People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality industry, has unveiled two new customer service qualifications to help frontline hospitality and travel staff deliver excellent customer service.
The qualifications, developed following research by the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism into the negative impact of poor customer service on business, are currently being accredited in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by major awarding organisations.
Level 2 is a qualification for frontline staff and focuses on excellent customer service procedures and behaviours while Level 3 for managerial and supervisory staff includes modules on coaching and facilitating skills, return on coaching investment and challenges of managing teams.
Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said the UK hospitality industry needs to "raise the bar" in order to compete with other tourist destinations, especially in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
"The customer service skills of frontline and supervisory staff are critical to the hospitality industry's success as their behaviour and actions impact on whether visitors have had an excellent or bad experience and are likely to return," he said.
David McHattie, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, added: "We look forward to introducing our customer service programmes to support the drive for customer service as we work to banish old perceptions of customer service in UK hospitality."
By Emma White
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