Business helpers take prize

By Roger Moroney

For the second year running a company set up to help people running small and medium-sized businesses has come away with the top prize at the annual EIT Napier Inner City Customer Service Awards which were staged on Wednesday night.

The Secretary Ltd was set up by Napier couple Garry and Jan Alve after recognising that many small business operators struggled to cope with administrative and financial demands.

In the evening hosted by actor, producer and director Ginette McDonald, The Secretary Ltd took the Mayor's Supreme Customer Service Award.

The business struck a chord with the clients it took on, and also struck a chord with the Christchurch-based research company Customer Care.

They assessed 334 Napier inner-city businesses for their service qualities twice during the year - once by telephone and then with an "in-person" visit.

Napier Inner City Marketing manager Meg Rodel said the assessment, and awards, were valuable for everyone.

"Good customer service benefits clients, customers and visitors to Napier - it enhances the city's profile."

She said the ultimate aim was for businesses to be recognised locally, nationally and internationally for consistently providing "superior customer assistance".

In the Gold Award section there were 10 businesses last year which achieved an 80-plus per cent mark for service over the past three years. This year that group had expanded to 26.

In the hospitality section Quest Napier, Thien Thai Restaurant and Urban Deli took awards. Farmers Napier, Gahagan's Unichem Pharmacy and Te Meke Don took awards in the Peoples' Choice category while Electric City Music, Elaines on Emerson and Chris Wiig Suit and Menswear took out the top retail awards.

In the service category, Napier Monumental Services, the Napier Hearing Association and The Secretary took the honours.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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