GOOD customer service is vital to keep our retailers going.
And that’s why the Meridian Shopping Centre in Havant has decided to sponsor the Customer Service award at The News’ Retail and Leisure Awards.
It’s important that retailers are recognised, especially the staffRob Fryer, centre manager
The awards give local shops an opportunity to be recognised for their hard work.
There are 12 categories including Fashion Retailer of the Year, Leisure Venue of the Year and Independent Specialist Retailer of the Year.
Rob Fryer, centre manager for the Meridian Shopping Centre, said: ‘From a retail perspective customer focus has got to be key to promoting people to shop with us.
‘If store staff don’t make their environment welcoming, people will go somewhere else and it gives them more excuse to shop online which, in this day and age, is the last thing we want.’
He added: ‘It’s important that retailers are recognised, especially the staff.
‘That’s why we have targeted the customer service area. We get a number of positive comments back from customers about some of the shops here.
‘There are some good people out there, but retail gets lost sometimes compared to other businesses.’
There are also some awards for staff including Employee of the Year, Apprentice or Trainee of the Year and Manager of the Year.
Mr Fryer said retailers know the importance of good customer service.
‘If you give somebody a bad experience, it just cascades through friends and family.’
and it puts people off coming to the centre.
‘There are a number of shops here and there are some great people out there.’
The awards are also being supported by Gunwharf Quays, Cascades Shopping Centre and Fareham Shopping Centre.
For details on how to enter the awards, see the panel on the right of this page.
The closing date for final entries is Friday, July 31.
The winning entries are going to be announced at an awards ceremony which is due to take place at the Marriott Hotel on Saturday, September 26.