There are big smiles all round at Hunterston B power station visitor centre after its entire team of guides received their certificates for passing the Ayrshire Smiles service excellence training course – the first business with 100% of its customer-facing staff to complete Ayrshire Smiles.
The team of tour guides show visitors around EDF Energy’s Hunterston B power station and explain the fascinating workings of the station. Welcoming people from the local area and much further afield on a daily basis to the visitor centre, which has a 5-Star rating by VisitScotland, the guides decided to rise to the challenge of enhancing their already excellent customer services skills.
Ayrshire Smiles mixes customer service training with destination knowledge and is designed to inspire people employed within tourism and hospitality-related businesses to share their passion for Ayrshire and give a genuine warm welcome to visitors.
It builds on tried and tested destination and service delivery courses and helps create a consistent and quality approach to customer service.
Speaking about the training, Valerie Poyser, Hunterston B power station visitor centre co-ordinator said: “All our guides found the training really very worthwhile to do and it only took just over a couple of hours to complete online. We were tested on our knowledge of other attractions in the local area and on the best way to deal with customers. I would recommend the training to other Ayrshire organisations as it really is a very useful tool.”
Moira Birtwistle, member of the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Leadership Group said: “We are delighted to have been involved in the development of the Ayrshire Smiles programme, which empowers businesses to enhance the quality and delivery of excellent service to their visitors.
“The warmth of welcome and customer care through excellent product knowledge are among the most important factors influencing how an area is perceived. By exceeding expectations, the area can benefit from visitors returning and also sharing their enjoyment of all that Ayrshire and Arran has to offer.”
Ayrshire Smiles online training is available free of charge. Individuals can register and businesses can find out more about using the course as part of their staff training at www.ayrshire-smiles.com.
The initiative was developed by Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Team with a wide variety of industry partners. The initiative supports the aims and ambitions of the Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Strategy 2012-2017 and recognises the importance that the people of Ayrshire & Arran and the service they deliver make to the overall visitor experience.