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JennyB
10-07-2004, 01:02 PM
Hello! I am about to open my first design led gift shop in Leeds (The Orchard House) As an independent I am very aware that I cannot compete with the chain stores etc on price. So in a bid to stand out, I want to focus on service. Are there any awards given for customer service in this industry, that I could enter? If we won, this would be a boost for staff and reassuring for customers? How do I go about finding out more? Thanks for your help!
Jenny

Statler
12-07-2004, 10:24 AM
Hi Jenny,

You can study for an NVQ in Customer Service (http://www.edexcel.org.uk/qualifications/QualificationSubject.aspx?id=51620) - your local college should be able to tell you more. You are absolutely correct to focus on customer service - a high level will keep customers coming back, and they will also tell their family, friends and colleagues about your shop.

Keep us informed of your progress, and good luck with the opening of your shop,

Lee

JennyB
12-07-2004, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the reply, but it wasn't really what I meant! :o) I was wondering if there are any awards in the retail industry that I can enter my shop and staff into on the basis of customer service or other similar categories. For eg: The Big Issue have The Big Difference Awards. Thanks for your help! Jenny

Statler
12-07-2004, 11:54 AM
Hi Jenny,

Apologies for the misunderstanding! A quick Google search using the term "retail industry awards" has turned up this:

http://www.irn-talkingshop.co.uk/awards/details.asp?award=Retail%20Industry%20Awards&articleid=341&sectionid=1

I'm not sure if these awards have taken place, but they look like the kind you're after.

And of course, there's always the annual Shell LiveWIRE awards!

http://www.shell-livewire.org/win10k/

Lee

Afzaal
13-07-2004, 01:42 AM
Hi Jenny,

You might be interested in 'The Greats'. These are new awards for retailers specifically in the gift industry and were launched last year.

You can find out more by visiting:

http://www.progressivegifts.co.uk/awardshome.htm

There are also many other awards and business competitions that are not industry specific, but recognise success in different ways, e.g. innovation, customer service, best newcomer etc.

Shell LiveWIRE have their own awards, as do The Prince's Trust. Others include the National Business Awards, Growing Business Awards, and there's even the 'Start-up Stars' competition by HSBC. I'm sure a quick look on a search engine will show up the relevant sites for you to check the criteria and entry details.

Winning these competitions can be great for your business in a number of different ways, but you have to be prepared to put in a lot of hard work.

Best of luck.

Afzaal

JennyB
13-07-2004, 10:00 AM
A big thank you to everyone for their help - it's all relevant and I will certainly be following up your advice. Thanks again! Jenny

Statler
13-07-2004, 10:12 AM
Jenny,

Keep us informed of your business progress and watch out for the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2005!

Good luck,

Lee