A group of sixteen employees from the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow recently completed the one-day Delivering Service Excellence programme.
Led by Glasgow Welcomes trainer Fiona Young, the course was delivered on-site at the shopping centre and offered staff from departments such as security, cleaning and services the chance to improve their customer service skills.
The in-house training was organised after St Enoch Centre managers attended a Glasgow Welcomes course and decided it would be ideal for their teams within the Centre. Most of the delegates had already received a great deal of customer service training, but they were keen to participate in Glasgow Welcomes, which offers a focus on visitors to Glasgow and how to meet and exceed their expectations.
Through the interaction of the different teams, Fiona observed that the delegates came to realise that there were areas in which they could improve and enhance the customer experience, especially for St Enoch Centre shoppers.
"I feel that one of the reasons that the Glasgow Welcomes programme is such a success is that it does not tell delegates what they have to – and should – do. Instead it gives them the opportunity to look at the service that they deliver and explore how they can realistically make a difference.
For one participant, Lauren Hughes, who works on the retail outlet’s customer service desk, the Glasgow Welcomes course was “inspiring and highly informative”.
Laura said, "Many of our staff are in constant contact with city customers, including shoppers and tourists. We are frequently asked questions about Glasgow, such as where to visit, what there is to do and how to find places, as well as the usual in-centre enquiries.
"I found the Glasgow focus of the customer service training to be very useful. It reminded me about how much there is to see and do in the city and I learned about places and attractions that I didn’t already know about.
In particular Laura liked the quiz section of the training and values the Glasgow Welcomes Be First to Know booklet packed full of city facts and figures.
"I can see this being so useful at the time of the Commonwealth Games," she commented.
Laura enjoyed the chance to think about ways to improve their customer service and to impress with wow factor offerings. She said, "Since the course we have been enthused and much more likely to go the extra mile with customers. One recent example was a customer who had broken down in the centre car park. She wasn’t able to get in touch with a car repair service so we arranged for her to be able to leave the car overnight in the car park. This person was so delighted by our service that she thanked us personally and praised us to our manager. It felt great to be able to do something that so impressed a customer.
Discussing customer service issues with other departments was also very useful for Laura. She said, "You forget sometimes how other departments are faced with issues and problems, just as much as you are. Too often I might have felt relieved that a shopper has approached another member of staff and left it at that. But now I am more likely to assist with all issues, whether it affects my department or not. I think that now we all feel like we’re in it together in the Centre to offer a better all-round customer service.
Laura said further Glasgow Welcomes courses are planned for St Enoch and that she would recommend that other retail businesses consider participating in the training. She said,
"Fiona was such a great trainer and she really inspired us all to offer a better customer service for city people and visitors. I think it’s great that we are all able to work together towards the same thing – and to make Glasgow an even better destination to visit.
Stella Callaghan, Project Manager of the Glasgow Tourism Service Initiative, said,
"The success of the Glasgow Welcomes training at St Enoch reveals the ever-widening appeal of this customer service excellence programme and how it is so relevant and useful to businesses across every touchpoint of Glasgow’s visitor experience.