Campaign launched to help improve customer service

A NEW campaign has been launched to improve customer service across Hastings and St Leonards.

Sussex Coast College is offering a customer service programme to small and medium enterprises for free.

Local businesses will be provided with the same programme which trained thousands of staff and volunteers at the 2012 Olympic Games, with the long-term aim to make Hastings a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in customer service.

WorldHost, which will be providing the training, offers training programmes that have already been used to train nearly one million people worldwide. Programmes include training on serving customers with disabilities, welcoming customers from other cultures and an introduction to the general principles of customer service. The college is offering this training for free until March next year, thanks to the Coastal Communities fund through Hastings Borough Council.

It will also be working in partnership with Job Centre Plus to offer WorldHost Training to unemployed learners, offering them leading industry training, which will support them back into employment.

Cllr Peter Chowney, the council’s lead member for marketing, said: “This is an excellent scheme, and excellent news for Hastings. Tourism is worth more than £250 million to the local economy, and supports more than 5,000 jobs in the town. With the pier due to open in early 2015 we can expect even more visitors, and WorldHost will help ensure that we are ready for them.”

Jim Norris, chairman of Hastings and St Leonards Tourism Association, added: “The association is the voice of hospitality for Hastings; and the opportunity for our members to benefit from the renowned WorldHost training is one to be snapped up.” Interested businesses should ring 01424 458570 or email