‘Area has some great com­pa­nies old and new’

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS SME BUSINESS TIPS - KAREN BRIT­TON

THE North East Cheshire Busi­ness Awards cel­e­brates the area’s high fliers in a num­ber of cat­e­gories.

This year there are 10 cat­e­gories and en­tries are welcome from all busi­nesses.

The cat­e­gories are: Busi­ness of the year with a turnover over £5m; busi­ness of the year with a turnover be­tween £1m and £5m; ex­cel­lence in cus­tomer ser­vice award; start-up busi­ness of the year; best com­pany to work for; in­no­va­tion and de­sign award; best use of so­cial media; best de­sign/cre­ative award; team of the year; and small busi­ness of the year.

The awards are open for en­tries and the clos­ing date is Septem­ber 30.

En­try is free and avail­able at necbawards.co.uk ●● EACH week we are fea­tur­ing a spon­sor from this year’s awards. This week we have Adrian Ben­nett, busi­ness man­ager at Thor­n­ey­croft So­lic­i­tors.

He has been with the firm for 15 years and holds qual­i­fi­ca­tions in in­sur­ance as his role in­volves deal­ing mainly with in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

He has been on the panel of judges for the North East Cheshire Busi­ness Awards, pre­vi­ously called the Mac­cles­field and Wilm­slow Busi­ness Awards, from the start.

He has also judged awards in the in­sur­ance and le­gal sec­tors.

Which award are you spon­sor­ing?: Thor­n­ey­croft So­lic­i­tors are spon­sor­ing the Ex­cel­lence in Cus­tomer Ser­vice Award.

Why have you got in­volved with the busi­ness awards?: Sim­ply to recog­nise and celebrate busi­ness ex­cel­lence in North East Cheshire.

Why did you choose to spon­sor that par­tic­u­lar award?: Ex­cel­lence in Cus­tomer Ser­vice is an ideal award for us to spon­sor as ev­ery­thing we do is based on client care and cus­tomer ser­vice.

Why is East Cheshire such a great place to do busi­ness?: North East Cheshire is a vi­brant area for busi­ness with lots of great com­pa­nies both old and new.

Easy ac­cess to the mo­tor­way net­work, ma­jor rail­way sta­tions and Manch­ester Air­port all con­trib­ute to the dy­namism of the area.

What is your best piece of busi­ness ad­vice?: The best piece of busi­ness ad­vice ever be­stowed on me is, “Great ser­vice keeps busi­ness!”

Any­thing else you would like to add?: I would en­cour­age all busi­nesses in North East Cheshire to con­sider en­ter­ing the awards or at the very least try to at­tend the fab­u­lous Gala Awards Din­ner at The Mere Golf Re­sort and Spa. HAVE you ever won­dered what your cus­tomers are say­ing about you?

In a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place where so­cial media has given the cus­tomer voice cen­tre stage, it’s crit­i­cal to know ex­actly what your cus­tomers think.

The NPS – Net Pro­moter Score – method of cap­tur­ing feed­back through cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys has grown sub­stan­tially in promi­nence.

If you’re new to or un­aware of the NPS model, Emma Green­field, se­nior ac­count man­ager for 1-2-1 Cus­tomer In­sight, gives her tips on the ben­e­fits of us­ing this sys­tem. ●● 1. Talk to peo­ple

Email sur­veys have their place, es­pe­cially for large scale ‘yes/no’ feed­back.

How­ever, if you pick up the phone and talk to some­one rather than send­ing a generic email you will get a much higher sur­vey com­ple­tion rate. It also en­ables you to probe for clar­i­fi­ca­tion if nec­es­sary. ●● 2. Ask for rec­om­men­da­tions

If you are talk­ing to cus­tomers who love your prod­uct, ask them to re­view your ser­vice! Great re­views are one of the key el­e­ments of gen­er­at­ing new cus­tomers, and it re­ally helps your web­site SEO. ●● 3. Be quick to re­spond

It is es­sen­tial to en­sure that you have a sound fol­low-up process in place to re­spond to your cus­tomers’ feed­back, es­pe­cially those who gave par­tic­u­larly poor scor­ing feed­back. ●● 4. Un­bi­ased, in­de­pen­dent re­search

You can com­plete your own sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys in-house, util­is­ing your own staff to sur­vey your cus­tomers.

How­ever, this runs a risk of sub­con­scious bias or ma­nip­u­la­tion of sur­vey scores and com­ments.

Out­sourc­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys gives you ac­cess to to­tally im­par­tial and hon­est feed­back.

To read these tips in full, please visit www. SMEClubManch­ester. com.

●● Adrian Ben­nett is busi­ness man­ager at Thor­n­ey­croft So­lic­i­tors

●● Adling­ton Manor’s open day had a 1950’s theme

●● Emma Green­field

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