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Bourne Leisure

Haven Owners Exclusive, part of the Bourne Leisure Group, won the Training Programme of the Year Award – Hotel and Leisure category at the Customer Service Training Awards 2012. The Awards which are supported by the Institute of Customer Service aim to showcase the best in customer service and competition is extremely stiff.

In 2013, the team also went on to achieve the best Customer Service Training Team of the Year Award in the Hospitality and Independent providers category and won the overall training team of the year Award which included all sector categories.

Prior to creating and launching the new ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ customer service programme, Antony Smith, the Culture and Development Manager from Bourne Leisure, Haven and Owners Exclusive (left, right), undertook extensive consultation involving customers, Park team and leading customer service experts. Haven is a well established brand name in the UK with over 3m visitors to Parks in 2011, making them the UK’s favourite seaside holiday parks. Every year they have to improve their service offering because the caravan owners and holidaymakers demand high levels of service.

A pioneering spirit

As part of the new programme Antony recruited 150 ‘Pioneers’ - team members working on Park with a special passion for the business and its people. Pioneers undertook an extensive trainer programme and became totally immersed in the new programme prior to national roll-out and delivery on site.

A Breath of Fresh Air consists of two modules – one full day session and a two hour follow up. The programme puts the holidaymaker at the heart of the training and during the sessions participants go out and talk to guests to find out about their expectations. Learning is achieved through specially created high energy activities that underpin content and the course deliberately avoids role play exercises and presentations because they could be stressful to some of the participants. A professional illustrator created the course workbook and there is plenty of room for sketching, doodling or making notes.

Bourne Leisure is a company that is more concerned with attitude and how you treat people than academics and a senior staff member attends each course to talk about their career within the company – most started at grass roots level so they are aware of the opportunities.

There is a real buzz across the Parks that is exciting and infectious and those previously fearing the training process now feel really involved - feedback has been fantastic.

As an added bonus, some Parks are affiliated to Welcome to Excellence and this means they can achieve national certification for their participation.

The results are impressive - repeat business for 2013 is already +16% and the company believe this can be attributed to improvements in the guest experience.

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