People 1st have urged companies across London to invest in training their employees, to ensure customer service levels improve before the Olympic Games in 2012, reports Cater News.
According to the sector skills council for the hospitality, tourism, travel and leisure markets, those working in hospitality roles must ensure their customer service skills are top notch by the end of this year, and to help the cause, People 1st has set up a training campaign. This will give 200,000 employees the chance to upskill and train ahead of the Games, and has attracted interest from names such as the London Eye, Twickenham Stadium, McDonalds and Flybe.
It is thought People 1st launched the idea after results of a recent survey showed 68 per cent of UK businesses who had invested in customer service training noticed a significant increase in repeat business, and 18 per cent said their sales had improved.
Experts are suggesting that if London does not prepare for the large influx of visitors, it may discourage them from returning to restaurants, event venues and hotels throughout the capital – perhaps even stopping them visiting Britain again later in life. Brian Wisdom, the chief executive office of People 1st, claims: “There is a lot of focus on developing the infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but not enough on ensuring we have the softer skills needed to welcome the world to Britain.”
Wisdom’s thoughts are echoed by Miles Templeman, a spokesperson for the Institute of Directors, who was cited in HR Magazine as saying: “It is imperative for businesses to invest in the people who will be on the front line, hosting our visitors and acting as ambassadors for the rest of the country.”