Newmarket champion in customer care stakes
Newmarket has become the first town in the country to gain an Olympic standard in customer care.
Retailers and other businesses in the town can now boast to be the best in Britain after completing training for WorldHost Recognised Destination status - a trade and hospitality standard for customer care that is achieved using the programme that trained thousands of staff and volunteers at the London 2012 Olympics.
The news comes just months after Newmarket Racecourse became the first racecourse in the UK to gain WorldHost Recognised Business status.
Twenty town businesses have achieved WorldHost standards, while more than 230 staff have completed WorldHost training. The training was delivered by West Suffolk College while the scheme fits in with the Newmarket Vision project to boost both retail and tourism in the town.
Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath District Council Cabinet member for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “Customer care is the key to success for any business. Treat your customers badly and they won’t come back. Make a good impression and they will not only return, but they will tell their friends as well. I am delighted that Newmarket is now recognised as the best town in the country in terms of customer care. It will go a long way to boost trade and tourism in the town.”
The WorldHost bid was backed by Forest Heath District Council, Suffolk County Council, and locality money from Suffolk County Councillor Lisa Chambers.
Cllr Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader and local member, said: “Newmarket has set the benchmark for all towns, not just in Suffolk but across the whole of the country, to follow. It is a huge coup and will bring further prosperity to the town centre. I congratulate all of the retailers and other businesses that have helped us to this wonderful achievement.”
Newmarket Town Council also back WorldHost by providing a training venue.
Mayor of Newmarket, Cllr Rachel Hood, said: “Not only do we have two of the best racecourses and the best racehorse training facilities in the country, but also the best town. It is an enormously proud day for Newmarket and as Mayor I am ecstatic that Newmarket Town Council played a key role in this success”
Di Robertshaw, chairman of the Newmarket Retailers’ Association said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the town. Newmarket is the champion for customer care.”
Ginny Idehen, Head of Business Development at West Suffolk College, said: “The fantastic training team at West Suffolk College was responsible for delivering the training and course to the businesses involved in this project and we are enormously proud of the contribution we have made to Newmarket being the first town to achieve World Host Destination status.
“We would like to extend our congratulations to all involved, it is a real success story. If any other business has a customer facing team and would like to receive Olympic standard of customer care training, we would encourage you get in touch for an initial discussion.”
The WorldHost programme is run nationally by People 1st, the workforce development charity for the UK’s visitor economy industries.
Sharon Glancy, executive director at People 1st, said: “Customer service is a major challenge for businesses across the UK – in fact, 88% of tourism businesses say that it’s the most important skill they’ll need in the next five years. That’s why People 1st brought the WorldHost programmes to the UK and it’s fantastic to see Newmarket employers leading by example and working together to go the extra mile for their customers.
“For Newmarket to become the first town in the UK to achieve WorldHost Recognised Destination status is a great achievement. It shows that Newmarket is first past the post in the customer care stakes - congratulations to everyone involved.”