Smiles of Britain: Celebrate Britain’s Best Customer Service
This summer is set to be Britain’s biggest ‘staycation’ ever (where Brits go on vacation by staying in Britain). So the National Skills Academy for Hospitality is launching a campaign to celebrate the best of British hospitality.
The Smiles of Britain campaign encourages members of the public to be on the lookout for the nation’s warmest and most welcoming smiles. And, when they see one, to snap a picture and share it on the Academy’s campaign website (www.SmilesOfBritain.co.uk)
But as well as helping to highlight Britain at its best, there is also a serious commercial message underpinning the campaign. As David McHattie, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, explains:
“The role of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality is to seek out the very best training, development and education programmes in hospitality, to recognise and celebrate that excellence, and to lay down the gauntlet for the whole industry to follow their lead.
“As part of this process we want to shine a light on those in our sector who are leading the way in customer service. And, because excellent customer service invariably starts with a smile, we have launched the Smiles of Britain campaign.”
It’s a message which is reinforced by Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at University College London:
“Smiling is not just a display of happiness, smiling also increases happiness. And when someone smiles at us, we tend to smile back, so a smile can be viewed as a ‘gift’ which has a positive physical and psychological impact on the receiver.
“Consequently, in hospitality and sales situations a smile from the vendor increases the possibility of the customer smiling which, in turn, increases trust and liking and subsequently a mutual sense of co-operation and helpfulness. In short, smiling doesn’t just bond people together – it oils the wheels of commerce too.”
“Later this year the Academy will be launching funded customer service training programmes for those in the hospitality sector who want to take their skills to the highest level. But what better foundations could we hope to build these skills on than a warm and welcoming smile?”
To encourage people to upload as many smiles as possible, the Smiles of Britain website not only enables contributors to pinpoint where they photographed their smiles, but also to put them in one of four categories:
- Service with a smile for great customer service smiles
- Team smiles for groups of people smiling
- Smiles of the unexpected which will hopefully catch some of the nation’s grumpiest people in an unguarded moment of good humour
- Just a great smile which really speaks for itself!
There will be weekly prizes for the photographers who have captured the best smiles, and at the end of the summer the twenty sunniest smiles will be invited to attend a photo-shoot in London where they will also meet the celebrity judges who will be choosing Britain’s Smile Ambassador for 2010.
If you’d like to hear more we have a full interview with David McHattie, the CEO of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality.