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Warwick Hospitality - Caught in the Act

Warwick Hospitality serving drinks

Warwick Hospitality serving drinks

Originally Published 21 January 2003

Team members across Warwick Hospitality are being Caught in the Act when giving outstanding customer service.

The recognition scheme forms just a small part of Give the Extra, the customer service strategy that Warwick Hospitality, with the initial support of an external consultant, has developed over the last three years to further underpin a key departmental objective to consistently exceed levels of satisfaction for all its customers.

How does it work?

If a manager witnesses a team member from any area giving outstanding customer service and meeting at least one of the criteria they are said to have been caught in the act. At this point they are handed a card with the individual?s name and area of work, who has nominated them, the particular criteria met and a short description of what was seen.

The criteria are that the individual:

  • did something to make a customer feel special
  • went out of their way to solve a customer?s problem or difficulty
  • performed over and above the requirements of their normal/expected role
  • demonstrated a specific example of outstanding teamwork

Cards are discussed at monthly customer service meetings and if it is agreed that the criteria have been met, the individual is awarded a certificate of recognition and a £10 gift voucher.

Caught in the Act has been highly successful in rewarding those who deliver exceptional service. Since the scheme commenced in October 2001, over 100 people have been recognised and rewarded for a wide range of situations.

Examples include providing special support for less able customers, people working in their own time to support other team members and performing tasks above and beyond the call of duty. A selection of those considered as the best examples for the year are being invited to the Give the Extra Annual Awards Evening.

Give the Extra

Caught in the Act is a small part of the fully integrated Give the Extra customer service initiative. It is being continuously enhanced as the business changes and was developed around a four-tier structure.

  1. the service concept: defining a clear vision for the future, with values to underpin it and ensuring that communication of these messages to the external customer is effective.
  2. performance standards: defining standards of performance in terms of the way that tasks are carried out but also the behaviours that are expected from team members.
  3. support: ensuring team members are appraised, trained and continually coached to make sure that they both understand and are able to fully support the Give the Extra philosophy. Approximately 10,000 hours of customer service training is in the process of being delivered for 550 staff. It is also important to ensure that communication is effective across the business, that team members are involved in feeding back their views and comments are recognised and rewarded through schemes such as Caught in the Act, the suggestion scheme, Make your Mark and at the Annual Awards Dinner hosted by the Vice-Chancellor.
  4. review: having processes in place to ensure that continuous improvement in product and service delivery is taking place.

In view of the clear success of Give the Extra as a comprehensive approach for improving customer service, the Management Training Centres have also now adopted the "brand" which is in the process of being copyrighted.

Warwick Conferences plan to submit applications for both a National Training Award and UNISYS Service Excellence award in 2003.

As a clear indication of the fact that Warwick Hospitality is raising customer service to a new level they achieved a score over 82% in their recent Hospitality Assured Meetings (HAM) assessment. HAM is the service industry's nationally recognised standard which measures an organisation's global approach to managing customer service.

The score is currently the fourth highest in the country and means that they have now joined the national "best practice" group.

Warwick Hospitality employee serving coffee

Warwick Hospitality employee serving coffee

For further information, please contact Kevin Hamer, Customer Service Manager, Warwick Hospitality on ext 74155 or email kevin.hamer@warwick.ac.uk