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Powis Castle (National Trust)

Powis Castle is a medieval fortress and grand country mansion near Welshpool, in Powys, Wales. Standing in a commanding position, this medieval stronghold was extensively remodelled from the 17th century onwards. It has fine interiors and collections, spectacular terraces and gardens, and is also home to the Clive Museum – a superb collection of over 300 artefacts from India and the Far East.Welcoming in excess of 150,000 visitors per year, the team at Powis Castle know that offering a unique experience for visitors to one of the National Trust’s hidden gems will make their attraction stand tall against the competition.

Alison Dunne, Volunteer and Community Involvement Officer contacted Welcome to Excellence as she wanted customer service training that gave her team a thorough understanding of the importance of customer service in addition to a range of practical strategies they could use when dealing with visitor situations. Alison stated that she liked the content of the ‘Exceeding Visitor Expectations’ customer service training course and felt it would be ideal for her volunteer team to take the ‘Powis experience’ to the next level. Alison said… “The customer service expectations of our visitors have risen sharply in recent years and the National Trust recognises the importance exceptional service plays in giving visitors a great day out. Here at Powis we wanted some new insights into managing these demands and “EVE” seemed tailored to our very specific needs”.

Over 4 exciting days a total of 77 volunteers and seasonal staff took part in the interactive workshop sessions that consisted of discussions, group activities, quizzes and role-play exercises. Focusing on ways of enhancing the visitor experience throughout each day participants came away with several high-impact practical strategies they could implement to create a bespoke experience for each visitor from an individual and team perspective. John Barlow, Welcome to Excellence associate trainer stated…”it was a real pleasure to work with Alison and her team over the 4 days. The groups explored and developed a range of customer service skills that will allow them to give visitors to the Castle a great welcome, exceed expectations, resolve challenging situations and create a tailored approach to each visitor interaction. As a result of the ‘EVE’ training I am really confident that the team at Powis Castle will deliver an exceptional level of service excellence and exceed visitor expectations time and time again”.

Participants who attended the ‘EVE’ training stated…”It was a good day packed full and non-stop, and surprisingly enjoyable… restored my faith in training days!”… whilst others commented…”I enjoyed it very much, it was very professional, I am now feeling really inspired to do more engaging roles with visitors”. Dunne Alison went on to say…”I was really pleased with the training sessions John did for us. He had obviously taken trouble to research us here at Powis. The content was very relevant to our specific needs as a heritage property and his experience in the historic visitor attraction market was invaluable. He had a great rapport with the attendees and enthused and inspired resulting in really positive feedback which certainly exceeded my expectations. Overall we had such a great experience with Welcome to Excellence”.

The team at Powis Castle are now excited and looking forward to a busy visitor season where they can use their newly found enhanced skills and knowledge to work together to exceed visitor expectations and promote visitor loyalty.


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