The hunt starts again to find Britain's best customer service providers as the third annual Management Today/Unisys Service Excellence Awards get underway.
The race for service excellence has no finishing line. That's what TNT Express Delivery Services, winners of the 1997 awards, believe. If your organisation shares that philosophy, the 1998 Awards are an opportunity to pit your customer care performance against that of Britain's best customer service providers.
In the quest to find, promote and reward best service practices in the UK, participants will be assessed according to four broad criteria of excellent service provision: understanding customers; operational excellence; engaging employee enthusiasm for customer care; and leadership, vision and values. Entry is free and the awards are open to any British-based company, plant, institution or organisation (including public sector and non-profit organisations). In addition to the five industry categories, there are further awards for small business (turnover of £25 million or less) and most improved company.
To enter the awards, companies first complete a confidential questionnaire to measure their performance against the aforementioned criteria. A maximum of 20 companies are then shortlisted on the basis of this questionnaire. These companies are visited by a team of judges from Management Today, Unisys, Cranfield School of Management and representatives from 1997's award-winning organisations.
Site visits provide greater opportunity to delve into an organisation's customer service practices.
The awards aim to attract organisations which develop long-term, trusting and rewarding relationships with their customers. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in London later this year.
Shortlisted companies are invited to attend a two-day Service Excellence conference held at Cranfield School of Management in November 1998. However, all entrants benefit from a confidential report benchmarking their performance against their fellow entrants and the 100-plus organisations on Unisys' global database.
1998 SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARDS
- Best Service Excellence Company of the Year 1998
- Best Small Company
- Most Improved Company
Best Service Excellence Company in:
- Business-to-business services, including distribution
- Consumer services, including retail, utilities and passenger transport
- Financial services
- Manufacturing/engineering, including construction and extractive industries
- Public sector, including government, education and non-profit making organisations
TIMETABLE AND PROCEDURE
January - March 1998
Entrants fill in and return the confidential service excellence questionnaire. Entry forms are available using the postage paid card in this issue or from Anthony Locke at Unisys Customer Service Centre on 01908 212613. Forms to be returned by 20 March 1998
April - May 1998
Shortlisted companies receive site visits by the team of judges
June - September 1998
Preparation and distribution of the Service Excellence Report which benchmarks entrants' service against each other and those of the world's best service organisations. Announcement of winning organisations and an awards reception in London.
Publication of the winners' case studies in Management Today.