Stand-out members of staff from businesses across the area have the chance be recognised for their fantastic customer service skills – outside of their working environments.
At The News Retail and Leisure Awards the Customer Service accolade is saved for those who go above and beyond when dealing with the public – and that could be an individual employee, team, or company.
And what might such behaviour look like in winning form? In the case of Ola Ayeni from Tesco, Whiteley Shopping Centre, it’s brightening up endless customers’ days.
The store’s official ‘greeter’ received the Customer Service Award last year, and was backed to win by people who said his positive, friendly attitude made a difference to their day.
Andrew Grainger, store manager at the Whiteley shop, said: ‘We had continual feedback from customers about Ola, who all said he goes out of his way to welcome them and do special things, like buying birthday cards for people who come into the store.
‘Ola started out with us as a security guard more than a year ago now, and off his own back treats the customers the way he does.
‘We allow him the freedom to express himself and his personality shines through – Ola is part of a great team in which all staff strive to make sure their customer service is the best.’
Ola, a married dad-of-two, was nominated for the award by Mr Grainger and said after receiving it: ‘I appreciate everyone – especially where I work.
‘I appreciate every single soul that comes into the store.
‘My family were so happy. I took the award to church and it was very special for me.’
The awards are open to retail and leisure businesses based in, or with a significant presence in, the circulation area of The News.
Mr Grainger added: ‘Nominating somebody for the Customer Service Award is a great way to get them recognition outside of the company you work for – at Tesco we all know how great Ola was and still is, but we wanted to show everyone else.
‘I urge people to step forward and nominate those who they think are deserving of the award.’