The Old Rectory on the Lake

The Old Rectory on the Lake is a boutique bed and breakfast based in Tal-y-Llyn, situated in the Snowdonia National Park.

The situation

North Wales accounts for a third of Wales’ tourism, attracting millions of staying visitors each year.

The owners of the Old Rectory realise that the future of tourism in north Wales lies in capitalising on the outstanding beauty and fascinating heritage which makes the area an attraction for visitors from across the world.

It is for this reason that the owners of the bed and breakfast wanted to ensure hosting skills were at the best possible standard and were able to complement the outstanding scenery and cultural attractions offered across the region.

For Ricky Francis, co-owner of the Old Rectory, it was particularly important that, as hosts, they weren’t relying on the scenery alone to draw guests in: “We have always been confident in our hosting ability, however, it’s important not to rest on our laurels and think we are the authority on hosting.

“We are fortunate enough to be situated amongst some of the most stunning scenery in the world, but it is important to make sure that we don’t assume that the views alone are enough to ensure customers have a great stay.”

The action

People 1st – the sector skills council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries – recently launched a campaign to train 200,000 hospitality, transport, retail and tourism staff ahead of the major sporting and cultural events that are being held across the UK over the next five years, including the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics and Titanic Centenary in Belfast, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

WorldHost includes four customer service training programmes, which cover Principles of Customer Service, service for Customers With Disabilities, the Ambassador’s Workshop for volunteers, and Service Across Cultures, specifically designed for front-line teams serving customers from overseas. The programme is modern and energetic and offers a comprehensive training toolkit and topical DVD and CD scenarios.

The result

The owners of The Old Rectory identified WorldHost, a proven customer service training programme, as a solution to ensure customer service is up-to-speed.

Ricky comments: “WorldHost was exactly the type of training we have been searching for. It provided us with a chance to brush up our hosting skills and pick up new tips, while giving us a chance to chat with others in the industry and share experiences.”

WorldHost has been successfully delivered with all members of staff at the bed and breakfast, to ensure their skills are up to the best possible levels.

John concludes: “Business is not easy for anyone in the hospitality sector right now - people are cutting back on their personal spending, so it’s essential to have that competitive edge. Offering consistently excellent customer service will retain loyal customers and attract new ones. In today’s economic climate, this couldn’t be more critical.

“No matter how good you think you are after so many years, it’s still refreshing to see things from a different perspective and go through a structured course. I definitely gained something from WorldHost, and have already seen repeat business as a result.”