CEME Conference Centre

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Since working with People 1st to train its staff in customer service, the CEME Conference Centre has transformed its customer satisfaction ratings and boosted sales by 60%.

The issue

The CEME Conference Centre is part of The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) – a regeneration charity focussing on development, education skills and learning with a specific focus on the engineering, manufacturing and technology industries.

Eamonn Cole joined the organisation as director of the conference centre in 2012 and was initially concerned by the levels of customer satisfaction. Only 67% of customers felt that service at the centre met their expectations, while none said it had exceeded them. He was also concerned that there was no customer service programme in place for staff.

The solution - WorldHost®

Eamonn had seen the improvements that People 1st’s WorldHost customer service programmes had delivered for his previous organisation and, after evaluating other available programmes, the team unanimously decided it was the best option for CEME. They also decided to train the whole campus staff - including third party contractors including cleaning, reception and catering - using the WorldHost Principles of Customer Service and Customers with Disabilities programmes.

Eamonn attended one of People 1st’s WorldHost Train the Facilitator courses and became a licensed WorldHost trainer. This gave him the autonomy and flexibility to plan his own training structure to suit the working patterns and skills needs of the CEME team.

Many of the staff were not directly customer facing and had never experienced customer service training. Some expressed concerns about whether it was relevant to their roles (e.g. accounts, engineering workshops and facilities). However, once they had completed the training and their ‘personal commitments’ they began to understand the impact that internal customer service can have.

The Principles of Customer Service programme is now the foundation for all new CEME staff, and they complete the training within three months of joining. Eamonn is also introducing WorldHost M-learning across the business, which acts as a refresher course for those who have already completed Principles of Customer Service training through monthly videos and quizzes.

The impact

Since implementing the WorldHost programmes, CEME has seen a transformation in customer perceptions of the business. 98% of customers now report that service at the conference centre meets their expectations, while 65% say it has exceeded them. The centre’s Net Promoter score has also risen by over 50%, from 54 to 84, while the CEME campus has seen its score rise from 34 to 51.

At the same time, staff engagement scores within the centre have risen from 7.8 to 9.2, and internal communication has improved across the whole business.

The centre also achieved the Accredited in Meetings Gold Standard with the MIA within a year of the training, and became eligible for Venues of Excellence, a leading collection of exceptional venues delivering excellence in conferences, training and events.

These factors all have combined to deliver a big boost to the bottom line, with conference sales rising by 60% in total since CEME began using WorldHost training.

WorldHost® is a registered trademark of go2 Tourism HR Society. Used under license.

CEME Conference Centre