Altrincham town centre businesses turned out in force this week to recognise the achievements of businesses from a range of sectors at the first Altrincham Unlimited BID Awards.
Hosted by BBC North West presenter Beccy Barr, the awards took place at the Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham on Tuesday 20th June. Winners and runners up in nine categories were selected based on the results of a month-long ‘mystery shopper’ exercise, which had taken place during May, with all 71 participating businesses visited or contacted in person by researchers from industry experts Storecheckers.
Focusing on the customer experience, all businesses were judged on a range of factors, including venue appearance, products & pricing, website, service, sales and local knowledge. Overall Altrincham as a town performed extremely well, with businesses receiving an average score of 85.5%, putting Altrincham in the ‘premier league’ of towns and cities visited by Storecheckers, alongside Cambridge and Manchester city centre.
Katie Bland, BID Manager for Altrincham Unlimited said:
“It was really important to the Altrincham Unlimited Board that business assessments were completely independent and impartial, and with 25 years’ industry experience, Storecheckers were able to offer a credible and robust mystery shopper programme.
“The benefits for Altrincham businesses are twofold. Firstly it enables us to highlight and celebrate those businesses that excel in customer service, and secondly it provides the participating businesses with detailed feedback on the customer experience, which will identify any areas for improvement, and ultimately help to improve profit and performance.
“We’re delighted to see that Altrincham as a town has performed extremely well, with both independent businesses and high street names doing themselves proud – and eight businesses scoring a perfect 100% – an amazing achievement on such a wide-ranging assessment. We would like to thank all the businesses that took part, and hope the findings prove informative and useful.
“Our thanks go also to the Cresta Court hotel for their assistance in hosting an enjoyable and very successful event.”
Jeff Caplan, Managing Director of Storecheckers said:
“We are very pleased to be supporting Altrincham Unlimited with this project in a town which is clearly headed in the right direction. Being near to where we live and work, Altrincham is close to our hearts, so it is fantastic to see that not only has the BID area been going through a period of evident regeneration, but also that businesses are stepping up to the plate by delivering high standards and acting as ambassadors for the whole town.
“By delivering these high standards over a sustained period Altrincham can attract customers, new and old, improve consumer loyalty and have more chance of competing with online retail, through an excellent interpersonal experience.
“We can see that Katie and the Altrincham BID team are working incredibly hard alongside the Board to improve and promote the Altrincham experience and we at Storecheckers look forward to being a part of that ongoing improvement in the years to come.”
The winners and runners-up in each category were as follows:
Best Pub/ Bar
Winner: The Cheshire Tap
Runners-up: Riddles, The Cellar
Runners-up: Bistrot Pierre, Cholaas
“Being a small independent business its important to us that our employees understand that how we treat customers reflects directly on our business. If the customer is treated nicely and they are served great food they’re sure to come back. They’re also likely to recommend us to other people and spread the word using social media, which is a very powerful tool to engage further with our customers. Wining the award is a fantastic recognition of the customer service we provide and our team are very proud of this achievement” Simon Badrock, Burrito Picante
““One of Runway Pilates’ core values is to offer excellent customer service, so we’re thrilled it’s been recognised with this award! We’re aware that the Pilates Reformer can look like a torture device from the outside, so in person and through demonstrations on social media, our friendly, expert team always aim to help you understand and experience it’s many benefits.” Catherine Hebb, Runway Pilates
“We are delighted to have won this award for customer service. It bolsters our desire to impart the very best advice and it is revitalizing to have our care and dedication to this area recognized. Our customers are our number one priority. The reason a customer comes to us is to obtain specialist advice and guidance, we take great pride in providing the very best advice to our clients. We like to share our market insights and latest discoveries with the widest possible audience via our blogs on social media, we hope these useful guides bring those looking for more bespoke guidance to our office. These awards are fundamental in reminding local businesses of the fact we would be nowhere without our customers and caring for these people must remain at the forefront of our endeavors” Jennifer Jameson, Jameson & Partners
Best Independent Retailer- Fashion/Jewellery/Home Interiors
Winner: Randalls Jewellery (100% score)
Runners-up: Diadem Jewellery (100% score), Wells & Hewitt
Best Specialist Retailer
Winner: Amplifon (100% score)
Runners-up: Dawsons, Riddles Emporium
Best Multiple Retailer
Runners-up: House of Fraser, Barclays
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have won this award and especially proud that we scored a perfect 100 percent for our customer service. It is a great accolade to be recognised alongside fellow local businesses and we accredit hard work, attentive and experienced staff members and, more recently our use of social media to reach out to our clients. Big thanks to Altrincham Unlimited for this honour” Denise Fraser, Cresta World Travel
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