At the start of the year I was offered the opportunity to sponsor one of the categories of the 2017 Sure Customer Service Awards, of course I jumped at the chance and why wouldn’t I? The awards celebrate excellent customer service in Guernsey and as my business is about helping businesses thrive through offering great customer service I chose to sponsor the Best Business category.
The great thing about the awards is that the nominations all come from members of the public, so nominees are reliant on their customers to tell the judges about the great service and customer experience they receive.
Asking your customers for feedback is a brave move, but it’s essential to get their views so that you know you’re doing the right thing. Your customers can be your best mystery shoppers and you can be sure if they don’t get great service, they will shout about it. It’s what you do with that feedback that’s important, but that’s for another blog.
The nomination period for the awards ran for 6 weeks earlier in the year, in all there were about 11,000 nominations received across all the categories, every single one of those nominations was read and then judged by a team including the sponsors of each category.
On the morning of the judging we were all presented with the nominations for each category, some categories were easy to judge, with relatively few nominations however the Best Business and Best Hospitality award had several hundred nominations in each pile, we quickly became proficient at skim reading but it was clear that there are many businesses in Guernsey offering exceptional customer service.
Eventually we settled on a short list for each category which all the judges then voted on. Each of those nominees on the short list was then mystery shopped to validate the voting and the results finalised.
The awards took place on Thursday 6th July under a clear blue sky in Market Sqaure. It was truly inspirational to hear some of the stories from the finalists about how they’ve got where they are and what they do to ensure their customers get a great experience and it was an honour to present the best business award to the Bridge Dental Clinic.
I know they have worked really hard making sure all their patients (customers) have a great experience when they visit the dentist, which, let’s be honest, most of us dread going to, and the nominations that I read certainly reflect that effort. I spoke to Dr Hylton Jenkins after the awards who said “winning the best business award was an honour, I’m so proud of what we have achieved as a team”
On a final note, this year there was a special award, The Eddie Saints Memorial Trophy, this was awarded to the business that the judges felt encapsulated Eddie’s vision and values. I met Eddie at last years awards ceremony and was incredibly impressed with Eddie’s commitment to Customer Service, his team and his entrepreneurial spirit and it was this criteria which we used to judge the award. The judges were unanimous in their decision to award the trophy to Vaughn Davies from Vinyl Vaughns. He has overcome a life changing stroke to open a record store, which not only has great customer service but also gives opportunities to people in the community as well as fund raising for local charities. Vaughn was a well-deserved winner of the trophy!
All in all the experience of sponsoring, judging and presenting the awards was amazing. The awards really do highlight the benefit of making sure that you have engaged and happy staff working for your business, and that if you look after them, they will go out of their way to make sure that your customers receive the best possible experience they can.