Our award is a badge of honour to customers

For most businesses, giving great customer service is a number one priority and the Award for Customer Service, sponsored this year by Sure, will be one of the hotly contested categories at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

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You have to be in it to win it so, if you want to let everyone know how good your company is at looking after its customers, you should be entering the Awards.

And don’t think it’s only the large institutions who win: last year’s winners, The Tea Junction, proved that a business of any size can triumph.

When it opened its doors in 2015 The Tea Junction, owners Mark Davison and Jason Larrosa had a simple strategy: ’To ensure that all customers go away with a smile, having been delighted by an experience that they will share with others.’

Feedback on social media has demonstrated their success with Trip Advisor placing The Tea Junction first out of 120 other cafes locally and 94% of reviews giving it four or five stars.

Mark and Jason reckon their customers’ favourite products are ’the tea and the gin’, especially their orange and pomegranate infused gin.

Reflecting on their win Mark said: ’It’s a daunting prospect when you look at the actual application form and start to think about the complexity and detail that you could delve into, having lived and breathed your business.

’However, the great thing about entering is that it makes you stop and think about all the trials and tribulations along the way.

’It forces you to focus closely on your business and re-examine your core values. I think it also gives your business a level of credibility to win an accolade like this and reinforces your own commitment to continuing what you started.

’It’s difficult to quantify the actual gains in terms of bottom line but year on year we have grown busier.

’It’s certainly a badge of honour to display on your website and online communications, giving potential customers a certain reassurance of what they might expect.

’You do of course have to then live up to that standard, which is no bad thing.’

He added: ’We’re so glad we entered. The night itself was a real laugh and we brought all the staff along too, just in case we won we would at least have someone to cheer us on.

’As it happened everyone was cheering.

’Adrenaline kicked in when we realised we’d won and would have to make the walk up onto the stage.

’That part was a bit of a blur but we must’ve said something faintly amusing as I remember everyone laughing.

There are 16 categories in Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence offering opportunities for companies of all sizes, individuals, public sector teams and cultural and charitable organisations.