A Customer Service Hat Trick for Winchester Tourist Information Centre

Winchester’s award-winning Tourist Information Centre (TIC) has come first for the third year running in a national email ‘mystery shopper’ test, the results of which have just been announced by national tourism agency VisitBritain.

The test was part of an overall customer service assessment consisting of two emails, two telephone enquiries and one personal visit made by the external consultants on behalf of VisitBritain during July and August, the centre’s busiest months.

The consultants evaluated each email response on the basis of speed of reply, content and quality. Winchester TIC scored an impressive 100% (3% up on last year’s winning result) compared to a national average of 68%. Winchester also came second overall in the south east region in its combined score for the visit, emails and telephone calls.

Winchester City Council’s TIC Manager, Alison Woods, said:

"I am delighted with the results. It shows that our staff have embraced e-marketing and are as comfortable using email as they are at using more traditional forms of communication. The TIC deals with 5,000 email enquiries each year, and we believe that providing a personal service even in the impersonal world of technology is vital. We are often told that our helpful email advice influences visitors to spend more time in Winchester – which helps to generate more visitor spend to the local economy."

Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Economy & Tourism, added:

"The TIC is our beacon of good customer service and provides a first class impression for our valued visitors who spend over £222 million per annum in the Winchester District. I am proud of the team, who are constantly looking for ways to improve their service as we aim to establish Winchester as a world class destination."

The centre, which is housed in the city’s historic Guildhall, handles nearly a quarter of a million enquires each year from all corners of the globe and was named Tourist Information Centre of the Year in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in 2006. It is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday over the winter months and can be contacted on: 01962 840 500 or e-mail:
tourism@winchester.gov.uk or via the website at: www.visitwinchester.co.uk