Kent Flavour To Top Customer Skills Training

Staff from three of the most popular visitor destinations in Maidstone – the county town’s museum and art gallery, the Hazlitt Theatre and the tourist information centre – are among the first to brush up their customer service skills on a new Welcome to Kent training course.

Welcome to Kent was initially designed by Visit Kent for people working in the county’s tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses as part of its drive to make Kent the most welcoming county in England in 2012 and beyond.

Now the tourism champions are also receiving enquiries for training from a wide range of customer-facing organisations from different sectors preparing for additional visitors to Kent during the London Games.

Kerstin Andrews, head of training for Visit Kent, said: “We have tailored the best customer service skills training available to include information about Kent and the particular areas where the people taking thecourse are working.

“Visitors are always asking the people they meet in our guest houses, hotels, attractions and restaurants about the best places to visit and how to get there. Giving our training a real Kent focus means they will be much better placed to pass on top tips to all their customers and guests.

“Kent is such a big county and there is so much to see and do that it is not surprising that very busy people in our industry and other sectors need to catch up from time to time with the latest local information not only about attractions and destinations but also other aspects of our county including transport routes and accessibility issues.”

The Welcome to Kent training day held at Maidstone Museum was led by Visit Kent trainer Caroline Cooper. The participants, David Bonner, Chris Charlesworth, Ron Ellis, Sarah Williamson, Bernie Broad and Rickie Gravenell, are members of the Maidstone Council’s Visitor Economy Business Unit team assisting customers and visitors at the museum, the theatre and the information centre.

Welcome to Kent training is now also available as a fun, interactive online game featuring top tips and commentary from Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson and World Garden creator Tom Hart Dyke, of Lullingstone Castle.

Welcome To Kent Online players walk, jog or run around the county answering questions and picking up useful customer service skills and information about Kent as they go. The game, which takes approximately 45 minutes, saves their scores so that they can return time and again to see if they can go faster and score higher.

Visit Kent is offering county businesses and organisations with frontline staff access to Welcome to Kent Online training for free until April 30.

To find out more about Welcome to Kent and the full range of training and business support services now available through Visit Kent, including Welcome To Kent Online, go to

Photo details (left to right): Sarah Williamson, Bernie Broad, Ron Ellis and Rickie Gravenell with Visit Kent trainer Caroline Cooper

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