UK: REWARDS FOR SERVICES RENDERED. - The search is on for the 1996 Service Excellence Awards winner to establish which UK-based company best understands not only how to win customers but to keep them satisfied.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The search is on for the 1996 Service Excellence Awards winner to establish which UK-based company best understands not only how to win customers but to keep them satisfied.

Does your company provide truly excellent service? The 1996 Management Today/Unisys Service Excellence Awards are designed to recognise, promote and reward best service practices wherever they are found in the UK. Following the success of the 1994 Awards, Management Today in association with Unisys, a world leader in information management, aims to discover which UK company currently leads the field in terms of winning, satisfying and keeping both internal and external customers.

All entrants for the Service Excellence Awards will benefit from a confidential, in-depth, tailored report compiled by Unisys which benchmarks their company's performance against other entrants and that of 80 companies which are recognised worldwide for their dedication to customers and excellent service provision. Each benchmarking document will provide entrants with individual feedback which assesses the extent of their customer focus and identifies the steps which should be taken to achieve world-class levels of customer satisfaction and retention.

Recent research undertaken by Unisys among the world's top service suppliers provides a clear view of what best practice entails and how good customer service can be embedded into corporate culture. Service excellence, the source of secure and profitable long-term growth, requires organisations to attract, satisfy and retain customers better than the competition. Excellent service providers understand the needs of their customers. They know who their customers are, their needs and how well those needs are being met. Translating customer needs into products, creating an organisation that is easy to do business with and securing the right people with the right skills, information and power in the right place to satisfy the customer are critical aspects of service excellence. Customer focused organisations must also have a clear sense of direction and a shared set of values which are understood throughout the organisation. Good service requires leaders throughout an organisation constantly to champion the customer's cause. Best practice companies also use a wide range of measures to assess the success of their service provision.

Participants will therefore be assessed according to four broad criteria of excellent service provision. These are: understanding customers; operational excellence; engaging people; and leadership, vision and values. Judging is a three-stage procedure. First, entrants complete a confidential questionnaire which assesses their performance against the four broad criteria of service excellence noted above. No information will be used for any purpose other than the evaluation process without consent of the applicant. All entrants will receive an analysis of their performance against the best practices of the world's leading service organisations.

Between March and April 1996, those best performing organisations as identified by the questionnaire will be invited to take part in the next stage of judging - a visit by a team of judges from Management Today, Unisys, and leading UK organisations recognised for outstanding customer service. A shortlist of finalists will be published in the July 1996 issue of Management Today. In the third stage winners will be selected and then announced at an award ceremony at the House of Commons on 3 September.

Entry is free and open to any UK-based company, plant, institution or organisational operating unit which provides service to internal or external customers or both. The awards, which are open to both UK and foreign-owned companies, are divided into five industry categories with a further award for the best small company (turnover of £25 million or less). The overall competition winner will receive the Best Service Excellence Company of the Year Award. All finalists will be featured in Management Today.

To apply for an entry form, please fill in and return the tear-off reply-paid application. Or apply for a copy of the questionnaire to Desiree Land, Unisys Customer Response Centre. Telephone: 01908 212333 or fax: 01908 212176.


National Awards:

- Best Service Excellence Company of the Year 1996

- Best Small Company

Industry Awards:

Best Service Excellence Company in:

- Business-to-business services, including distributive trades

- Consumer services, including retailing

- Financial services

- Manufacturing/engineering,including construction and extractive industries

- Public services/utilities, including government and education


December 1995-February 1996

Entrants complete and return a confidential service excellence questionnaire (for an entry form see tear-off reply paid card or contact Desiree Land at Unisys on 01908 212333). The closing date for the return of forms is 29 February 1996.

March April 1996

Site visits to short-listed companies by a team of judges from Management Today and Unisys.

May 1996

Preparation and distribution of Service Excellence Report which benchmark entrants' service practices against each other and against those of the world's leading service organisations.

September 1996

Winners announced at Service Excellence Award reception in the House of Commons.

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