When I was appointed to be a judge again at this year’s prestigious UK Customer Experience Awards, I was delighted. The finalists in my category include Balfour Beatty and Scottish Water, so it’s a unique opportunity to privately compare Door-Stop against these blue-chip companies. But whether you’re judging them or winning them, awards bring credibility and prestige to your business, boost staff morale, attract new talent and offer a fantastic networking opportunity – not to mention all that free PR.

For some, however, especially given the past few years of austerity, awards are a low priority compared to other activities that might more obviously generate business. Others think that winning isn’t always a good thing: the ‘Oscar curse’ for example, can often be the kiss of death for an actor’s career (Mira Sorvino, Cuba Gooding Jnr and Halle Berry have all failed to sparkle after their Academy Awards).

Of course, awards are only worth winning if they’re appropriate for your business and you’re up against companies you respect. A regional prize might be perfect for an installer working in that area, bringing them to the attention of their target consumer customers; but it might make a national trade organisation seem small fry.

But even entering awards can help you take stock of what really sets you apart. It’s a great opportunity to benchmark what and how you’re doing against the competition; a rare chance to take a step back and see what is out there. How do other businesses approach the customer experience? What can you learn from them and how can that influence the way you do business and take care of your customers?

And, if you win, you get all that great publicity plus a real confidence boost to staff and customers. After all, everyone likes to back a winner. As part of the marketing mix, being seen out and about with the great and good, and hopefully winning the odd prize along the way too, can only be good for your profile.
There are many awards out there, in any industry you care to mention, but I’m a particular admirer of the UKCE Awards because they celebrate what Door-Stop is all about – great customer experiences. From our unique online ordering system at www.door-stop.co.uk where customers can order in under a minute, to our market-beating 3-day delivery guarantee (if it’s late, it’s free!), our sole aim is to make the customer experience the best it can be, because that’s the route to sustainable growth. Now that’s a prize worth winning.

Nick Dutton MD Door-StopNick Dutton is Managing Director of Door-Stop, an award-winning, profitable composite door manufacturer selling to retail installation companies across the UK.

Established in 2008, Door-Stop has increased turnover year on year and is now market leader. Nick has spearheaded several unique and innovative customer-based initiatives, including 3 day delivery (with ‘Free if Late’ guarantee) and online ordering and bespoke design.

Door-Stop’s success is built on customer service, driven by Nick’s commitment to making ordering easy and delivery reliable for customers.