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Cotswold Inns and Hotels Ltd

Cotswold Inns and Hotels Ltd are a group of six privately owned hotels in the Cotswolds. They have made extensive use of Welcome to Excellence training since the company was formed.

Heather Hass, who organises the training, says ‘All our Reception, Housekeeping, Bar and Restaurant staff go through Welcome Host training. The trainer comes to us and carries the training out in-house. We have always been impressed by the quality of the trainers. They have hands on experience of the hotel business and so their approach is always down to earth and engaging.’

Heather continues ‘We carry out training every 3-4 months so that all new staff get the benefit of Welcome to Excellence training soon after they join. It really helps boost their confidence. Around 20% of our staff are from overseas, especially Poland and South Africa, and with staff from overseas, you see a particular improvement in confidence levels as a result of the Welcome to Excellence training. It helps them know how to communicate with guests and how to handle complaints.’

‘After they have completed a course, our staff wear the ‘Welcome Host’ badge and this sends out a positive message to guests.

From a management perspective, it is great to know that by making use of Welcome to Excellence training for all staff with customer contact responsibility, we are doing our best to ensure the group delivers first class customer service at all times.’

Jonel Krige, who is originally from South Africa and works as a receptionist at The Lamb at Burford, says ‘Welcome to Excellence was absolutely fantastic. It reminded me why I am in the tourism industry! I have been working in hotels for six years and after a while, it can be easy to just see it as a job that you get up and do - sometimes you forget that the reason you are here is for the guests. Welcome to Excellence refreshed the way I see my role. I am now always aware that people are paying a lot of money to come to the hotel and it is up to me to make sure that they get great customer service and want to return.’

Bernadette Esterhuizen, who is also from South Africa and works as a Receptionist at The Swan in Bibury, says ‘ I found the Welcome to Excellence course exceptionally fulfilling. I really enjoyed it and it has made a huge difference to my approach. It was especially useful in helping me know how to deal with difficult guests. I have had several opportunities to try out what I learnt since taking part in the course – and it has been amazing how well it has worked in practice. Welcome to Excellence really has improved my customer care skills.’

Anthony Joseph, who is from Sri Lanka and is the Reception Manager at The Bear of Rodborough, took the Welcome Management course. He says ‘Welcome to Excellence has had a big impact on me. It has given me a new enthusiasm for the work. I had not worked in the hotel or hospitality industry before and the course showed me a lot of new ways of handling both customers and staff. It was also wonderful having the opportunity to discuss issues with staff from other departments on the course and gave me a new insight. Welcome to Excellence has really boosted my confidence and made a difference to how well I carry out my job.’

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