Aberdeenshire Council’s parking service has gained national recognition for commitment to customer service, after being awarded WorldHost Recognised Business status.

WorldHost is a world-class customer service training programme that has already been used to train over 160,000 people in the UK, including 3,000 ScotRail staff in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Recognised Business status is awarded to those which have trained 50% or more of their frontline staff using any of the WorldHost training programmes and made a commitment to delivering excellent customer service.

All of the council’s parking staff have now completed the one-day WorldHost Principles of Customer Service course.

Chairman of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), David Aitchison, said: “The Council is passionate about service standards and we are proud that our Parking service has achieved WorldHost Recognised Business status.”

ISC Vice Chair, Stephen Smith, said: “Not only does this demonstrate the Council’s commitment to customer service, but it also helps promote Aberdeenshire as a friendly and welcoming tourist destination.

“We know customer expectations in Aberdeenshire are rightly high and we hope that improving staff knowledge and skills will help us meet that expectation.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Parking service oversee off-street public parking arrangements within all the main towns in Aberdeenshire.

Whilst its primary focus is normally seen as enforcement, staff on the ground play a significant role in providing information and advice to visitors and users of car parks.

In December 2014 the Council introduced free parking periods in Banchory, Banff, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Peterhead, Stonehaven and Turriff to encourage more visitors to the area.

The WorldHost initiative aims to build on the legacy of world-class events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, transforming customer service standards across Scotland’s visitor economy.

The Recognition Certificate is valid for two years and is renewable on completion of a refresher course. In order to preserve the value of the WorldHost Recognition, the programme may be monitored through impromptu mystery shopper visits.

This recognition of Aberdeenshire Council’s Parking service will count towards Aberdeen City and Shire’s campaign to become a WorldHost Recognised Destination – awarded to areas where 25% of tourist-related businesses are WorldHost Recognised.

More information about the WorldHost Regional Destination initiative can be found at http://scotland.worldhost.co.uk

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