MYSTERY DINING COMPANY LINKS WITH SKILLS ACADEMY TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE

January 7, 2010, 1:00 pm
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The Mystery Dining Company (TMDC) has joined forces with the National Skills Academy for Hospitality to help evaluate customer service across the hospitality sector in England.  The partnership has seen the creation of national benchmarking criteria which will provide a quarterly report on customer-operator interactions and rank performance by sub-sector and region.

Through a series of visits to sites ranging from cafe operations through to Michelin star establishments and hotels, TMDC’s team of mystery assessors will evaluate and report on a range of criteria that has been structured to capture the impact on customers for crucial aspects. Behaviours experienced along with staff knowledge and training, the ‘pace’ of the experience and value for money feature in the reports.

The quarterly reports will then be used by the National Skills Academy for Hospitality to mark trends appearing within the delivery of customer service regionally and sector-wide as well as help to inform training and development programmes.

Working closely with operators across the hospitality sector since 2003 to provide independent analysis, TMDC has established a network of more than 2,500 qualified mystery diners who undertake, on average 1,000 mystery visits per month.

Director of TMDC, Sally Whelan, believes the partnership will act as an important catalyst in measuring, and helping to raise industry standards. She said, “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Hospitality to champion the role of customer service across all parts of the industry, from takeaway outlets through to fine dining and hotels.

“Benchmarking means that improvements can be monitored and trends tracked in a way for operators to compare their own performance against the wider industry.

David McHattie, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, confirmed that the partnership was an important step in the Academy’s long term plans.

He said: “This partnership with The Mystery Dining Company has established a clear focus on promoting best practices in terms of customer interaction. Our emphasis with this benchmarking activity is on celebrating good performance and real stories captured from the reports to showcase positive industry examples of excellent customer service.”

The next wave of visits, occurring in Spring 2010, will take the sample size to over 1,000. Operators are being invited to participate and, as well as getting online access to validated reports, will be able to compare their performance on all measures against their own sector, region and national benchmark score.

For more information on The Mystery Dining Company and the range of business support services it provides for the hospitality sector visit www.mysterydining.co.uk.
The National Skills Academy for Hospitality was established in England in 2008 and forms part of the Government’s National Skills Strategy, backed by leading sector employers. Its aim is to highlight leaders and identify excellence within the industry.

For further information on the benchmarking project visit http://www.excellencefound.co.uk/programmes/programme-detail.aspx?fdprogid=25

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