Breakdown and emergency assistance firm River Canal Rescue has won the Customer Services accolade at this year’s Express & Star business awards. The event, held at Wolverhampton racecourse on 11 June and run by the local paper, recognises outstanding businesses based in the ‘black country’ and south Staffordshire.
More than 120 companies entered 12 categories in the hope of picking up an award; these were then whittled down to 37 finalists. River Canal Rescue scooped the Customer Service gong after impressing judges by repeatedly achieving ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ ratings during its 4,000 plus call-outs last year, peaking at an average of 140 per week in the summer.
Judges, councillor and deputy council leader Peter Bilson, Express and Star editor Keith Harrison and Wolverhampton City Council managing director Keith Ireland, congratulated RCR and the other shortlisted finalists on their unrivalled levels of customer service, which they said ‘demonstrated a desire to put customers’ needs as the very heart of their decision-making’.
RCR’s initial submission detailed its customer service policy - ‘to go above and beyond the call of duty’, service standards - with customers within four hours, update on ETA within 45 minutes and courtesy call following call-out within 24 hours, customer service ratings – ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ near on 90% more for every month in 2014, including 100% in three, staff training/well-being initiatives – appraisals, mentoring, progression plans, courses, competitions, training and ‘time-out’ days, employee loans/team events and IT innovation – a web-based database, waterway mapping system and cloud computing.
During the judging process, managing director Stephanie Horton hosted an onsite visit, gave a presentation and undertook a Q & A session. She comments: “We’re all so thrilled; this is a team effort and the Award is recognition of the all the hard work we put in over the year – and every year – to ensure boaters are moving again as soon as possible with the minimum of disruption and cost. We’re very proud of our customer service ratings and will continue to endeavour to improve them.”
The event was compered by Midlands Today tv presenter Nick Owen who described the finalists as the ‘cream of the crop’. This year, River Canal Rescue has been shortlisted and ‘highly commended’ for its customer service and skills development in the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards and ‘commended’ in the Staffordshire Business Awards.
To find out more, search for River Canal Rescue on Facebook or visit www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk