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Displaying your commitment to reassuring consumers beyond Covid-19

23 Jun 2020
Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director, People 1st International

As more businesses begin to reopen their doors we see encouraging queues of shoppers keen to return to the high street yet, unsurprisingly, figures show numbers are nearly half what they were this time last year. Understandably, consumers are wary and are taking baby steps back out into the tangible world.

Our May 2020 poll taken by two thousand people aged 18 and above, reflects this want to return to various leisure activities but that they are influenced by key factors such as ability to social distance, cleanliness & hygiene and reassurance staff are trained in new “pandemic” measures. In fact, more than half (54%) of consumers want assurances staff have been trained accordingly.

Of course, employers are on board and determined to create the environment needed to welcome the public back. Our survey of over 500 UK employers within hospitality, retail, travel and aviation identified key employee skills needed to drive consumer confidence. As well as being able to meet the more obvious health and hygiene measures, other frontline requirements include being able to; deal with out of the ordinary situations, identify new needs of customers and convey information effectively. And with resilience being key to the recovery, over 90.8% of respondents feel ‘a more proactive approach to customer service’ is an important skill and behavioural need beyond Covid-19.

Of the employers surveyed there is substantial support for a collaborative approach to industry recovery with more than half (55%) backing industry-recognised, transferable, virtual training solutions. And, when it comes to the critical issue of staff training in hygiene controls and social distancing measures, almost two thirds (64%) of employers support the creation of a recognised symbol, which can be publicly displayed to reassure customers.

In response to this need and public demand for reassurance, People 1st International has created a bitesized, accessible e-learning solution, WorldHost 2020, to meet the needs of frontline, customer facing employees. WorldHost 2020 addresses the challenges many businesses across all sectors are facing post Covid-19 and prepares and empowers staff to keep customers and colleagues safe and drive positive behaviours in a rapidly changing customer facing environment. The 60-minute programme focuses on three key aspects; the working environment, peoples behavioural changes and health, safety and hygiene.

Plus, once all customer facing staff are trained the business can display the WorldHost 2020 badge – a symbol for customer reassurance – across all web-based platforms and physical spaces.

We know that training staff is going to be critical in building consumer confidence, and that it’s something that businesses need to start right now, if they are to be ready in time. WorldHost 2020 meets the professional standard for service operators ensuring staff are trained to an industry-recognised standard and it is in line with our own soon to be released industry operating guidelines.”

David Sheen, Public Affairs Director, UKHospitality

As lockdown restrictions lift further over the coming weeks and with businesses working hard to regain the trust of their customers with new health and hygiene measures, in time, we hope to see visitor numbers increase and a new, sustainable norm established for leisure activity.

For more information on WorldHost 2020 visit

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