LOCAL firms are to brush up on their customer care to make Solihull the number one destination for shopping and leisure in the West Midlands.
The aim is just one of many new iniatives launched through the Solihull Town Centre Partnership.
The aim is to work on four main areas of activity: promoting Solihull as an attractive place to live, visit and do business, improving the local infrastructure, keeping the town centre a safe place and delivering a cohesive retail offer.
Four sub-groups will discuss issues such as car parking, signage, promotional website, CCTV and support for the town centre Business Improvement Development project, and report to the main partnership board.
Meanwhile thanks to Solihull College’s new customer care training programme, town centre staff will be able to enhance their skills.
Karen Lord, chair of the partnership and managing director of John Lewis Solihull, said: “Competition is fierce in neighbouring centres and Solihull needs to be a priority venue for shoppers, business people and visitors.
“This means we have to keep ahead of the field in every aspect. People have got to want to come to Solihull and the customer care training programme is a big step forward.
“A pilot of the course is being run on June 9 and 16 and the exciting news is that if approved, it could become a nationally-recognised qualification.
“The customer comes first and if we can show that customer service improves from training staff then we will have made an impact.”
Other issues being monitored by the town centre partnership include making the most of tourism, the types of transport employees and customers use, access to the centre by public transport, staff training in the use of radio communication and anti-shoplifting measures.
Andy Cole, manager of the Ramada Hotel, said: “Solihull has a great chance to become a gateway destination to the West Midlands and a quality stop for both day visitors and people wanting to visit the region, and we are keen to promote and develop this opportunity.”