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Customer Service Award 2016 - now open for voting

The ACR News Customer Service Award is run purely online, with nominations and voting done by anyone and everyone within the acr industry. This year's nominations are laid out below, and voting is now open - scroll down to the bottom of the page to log your vote. The closing date is the 08 January, and the winner will be announced on 17 February at the ACR News Awards, with live coverage on the evening, on Twitter.

The ACR News Customer Service Award is run purely online, with nominations and voting done by anyone and everyone within the acr industry. This year's nominations are laid out below, and voting is now open - scroll down to the bottom of the page to log your vote. The closing date is the 08 January, and the winner will be announced on 17 February at the ACR News Awards, with live coverage on the evening, on Twitter.

The nominations are all listed below. Click here to vote.

Andrea Burton - Derbyshire Refrigeration

Andrea is a consummate professional with lots of knowledge about the products that the company sells. She is a natural people person and gets on with all her customers. She always has a friendly smile and bubbly personality to match, a pleasure to do business with. - David Richards

Andrea Burton provides an excellent and welcoming attitude to all customers. She delivers a friendly atmosphere and great service when you enter, this enables the customer to feel welcomed on approach, knowing that the orders will be dealt with as soon as possible by Andrea as she can have the situation done and sorted in a short amount of time. - Lewis Martin

Andrea is a diamond she can't do enough for you she will always go the extra mile if they don't stock it she will find out who does Honesty and integrity are her watchwords and she epitomises the phrase Customer Service which unfortunately is sadly lacking today. - Steve Dungworth

Andrea is a hard working and good at her job, if you have a problem she'll sort it out there and then and always gives 100%. - Sarah

She knows her products well & doesnt need part numbers. She treats her customers like old friends. Nothing is too much trouble for her, from doing deliveries on the way home or opening the branch early. Always a smile & a cuppa. - Ian Bradshaw

We are a small refrigeration company local to Derbyshire Refrigeration, they kindley take all of our deliverys as we are not always in our offices and they keep them in there warehouse for us to pick up when we need them , To add to that you always get a good service with a smile and looked after very well with very good prices on products. We think that Andrea Burton should be awarded this as she puts in a lot of hard work and always thinks of the customer first. - Steven Wood


Matt Haywood - Swegon Service

Matt is a young engineer and is currently still in progress from a junior engineer to a service engineer. Matt customer service skills have been raised as outstanding by many clients, resulting in him being requested by name for certain sites. He has been reported to be very thorough with not only his job but also in the reports and discussions with the clients afterwards.

Recently Matt was sent to a job at a hospital at 6pm to a broken chiller for an MRI scanner, both chillers had failed due a black start issue on site. Matt liaised with multiple people, including myself and the relevant parties for the hospital that were no longer on site to get the job done. This involved the ordering and collection of a compressor and gas to site, and the fitting of this into the early hours of the morning.

This enabled the hospital to carry on with MRI scans the following day without cancelling any, thus not causing any cancellations which would have had a massive affect on the hospital staff and the general public. Matt puts his all into every job, and never lets a customer or site down. Every customer survey report scores Matt at the highest level for his visit, and we are proud to have him as a valuable member of staff.

Matthew Hearne - Capital Cooling

Matthew has been a vital link in our aim, to provide the best customer experience, he goes above and beyond was is usual for a sales consultant, He involves himself to get the issues resolved, makes that extra call to get item, delivered return and fixed. Truly deserves some recognition.

Faye Maddocks - A-Gas

Agas have a very good,hard working Individual, Faye is always professional in the way she conducts herself, if it is doing a presentation to our customers or geting information back to us it is always on time and well presented. It is a pleasure having faye as one of surppilers and is easy to do business with. - Dean Skerratt

Faye is dedicated, hard working and reliable. Her knowledge is second to none and deserves to win this award. - Amie Bartholomew

Faye consistently deals with any challenge we throw at her & has excellent involvment with our customers offering presentations, training days and any general everyday support we may require - Fantastic customer relations & very professional. - Louise Powell

Stewart Wallace - Capital Cooling

We would like to nominate Capital Cooling Sales Manager Stewart Wallace as he is constantly going above and beyond the call of duty for his customers. Whether the order value is £400 or £40,000 all customers are provided with a personal service that makes them feel that their business is valued by the company.

Committed to providing excellent levels of customer service Stewart can be found replying to clients at any time of the day (or night!) – midnight, 2 or even 4am responses to urgent situations are not uncommon!

His philosophy is that a problem for his client is a problem for him personally and he will not stop until he finds a solution. We all know that from time to time things do go wrong and it is Stewart’s belief that companies should be judged on how they handle these situations and how quickly a suitable solution is reached.

As sales manager Stewart’s infectious attitude towards customer service rubs off on the rest of his team and they strive to provide the best customer experience in the industry.

Patrick White - A1 Flue Systems

Our reasons for nominating Patrick is because we believe Patrick aka Paddy has been a dedicated member of our team since the day he started over 30 years ago.

He started when we were a small company working from army Nissen huts and has played a huge part in the growth of the company.

Paddy started his days with A1 in manufacture and then quickly moved on to be the first installation team the company had alongside the Managing Director.  He then progressed to training our current Director John Hamnett to become a fitter  and passing on his wealth of knowledge.  Since then many many more have followed along the’ Paddy school of training’.

Due to his poor health Paddy moved into the contracts department some 15 years ago and until this day he remains to be the Installations Coordinator assisting everyone throughout the company passing on his priceless knowledge.  Paddy has earned the most respect out of any of our employees, he goes beyond the call of duty in every instance.  He is sat at his desk from 6am until 6pm every day, he answers calls to anyone and everyone 24 hours a day, even the installers moaning they can’t open the gates on a site at 4am! 

As Directors, we have tried to allow Paddy to slow down and take things a little easier and this year is his first year he has taken two weeks annual leave.  He jokes about retiring when he is 65 next year but then retracts when we say we are happy with this (albeit that we know what huge boots he has to fill), saying he will never leave A1 as it is his life.

Anybody who has any dealings with A1 know’s Paddy, employees, customers, sub-contractors alike and at our recent 40th anniversary he received the biggest cheer in the building when we presented him with an award for the most loyal hard working and respected employee, nobody begrudging him this at all.

And where would we be without our daily ‘Paddyisms’;                 












Paddy never asks for anything, just gives it all.

He refers to the site teams as ‘his kids’.

We would never be able to replace Paddy’s knowledge, experience and commitment nor would be want to.

Customer Services Team - Climalife (IDS Refrigeration)

The Customer Services Team at Climalife (IDS Refrigeration), is made up of Vicki Jury, Kerry Baker and Samantha Taylor who, between them, have over 68 years of experience in customer service.

This year we felt it was important not to only focus on an individual for this award but to recognise the achievement of the team as a whole, whose performance and interaction are crucial to the success of our business and to the delivery of exceptional customer service to our customers.

They each work extremely hard to provide a friendly, seamless service and their sheer determination ensures the delivery of the right product and expertise to the customer at the right time. When customers contact us, they can be sure to reach a member of the team straight away, with no need for call queuing or a recorded message greeting.

Customers regularly tell us that the team are delivering a great service, reacting quickly to each request, being realistic in their promises and always looking for solutions to achieve the best result. The team have a “can do attitude” and “…offer a more personalised service that is more adaptable to the needs of the customer.

We believe the most valuable way of demonstrating why our team should win this award is through the view of our customers and have included a selection of them to support our nomination.

“… always helpful and efficient. If we need a delivery of refrigerant urgently to a site there is never any problem. I just email Kerry the details and she always tries to accommodate our needs.”

“Whenever I phone to place an order, check on bottles on the way to us or need information regarding technical data for the gas. I always receive a pleasant welcome from the person answering the call, be it Sam, Kerry or Vicki. They cannot help enough and if any problem cannot be solved there and then, the girls go out of their way to ensure a swift result. I could not ask for a better customer service from a very friendly team.”

“…. always a pleasure to talk to…”

“In the refrigeration line of business we need suppliers who can go to and beyond just an average service. Nothing is too much trouble with the IDS team and the speed of response when quoting is second to none. They are a team who don’t know the meaning of the words no or cant.
This was proven when we had a request recently for a very large order of refrigerant that no other suppliers could manage to provide. I would highly recommend IDS to any potential customers.”

“If I ever call in with a query or need some information, I always get an immediate answer, or if it’s a bit more complex they call me back. Nothing ever seems too much trouble.”

Final word from Managing Director Allan Harper: “I am incredibly proud of the Customer Services team in Bristol. They work hand in hand with the sales force and their other colleagues within the company, and are constantly looking for opportunities to grow their knowledge and improve the service they can give to the customer. Communication is essential and, between them, they each maintain awareness of every job in progress being able to step in at a moment’s notice and pick up jobs that others have dealt with. On a daily basis I see the sheer determination and enjoyment of the team in delivering a first class service to our customers for which I am sure our customers will agree and confirm.”

Customer Service / Logistics / Technical - Fujitsu Air Conditioners

We at Fujitsu Air Conditioners like to provide excellent customer service and we do this by simply listening to our customers. This change in our approach from a process-driven organisation to one that is now truly customer-centric was necessary to ensure we increased our levels of service in an ever competitive market.

I can’t stress it enough, if we don’t listen to our customers, somebody else will and in this commoditised market we must differentiate on service.

Sadly we had some historical problems related to slow email response times of up to two weeks and a lack of phone responses with a lost calls rate of 35% - that means around a third of our customers used to hang up because they couldn’t wait any longer! This was an unsustainable situation, so we made a concerted effort to seriously change direction and asked our customers what they needed so that we could act accordingly.

Thus we brought in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure order processing, email responses and live calls. But before all that, we had to have a change in attitude from all staff, so that all of us together would become more positive in our approach to the business and towards our customers in order to deliver superior service. With these simple changes and a lot of hard work, we had significant results and are now proud of some of our KPI results such as an average email response to customers of under 15 minutes and a lost calls rate of under 4%. Crucially, our customers don’t complain anymore.

In addition, we had problems in relation to stock availability which came with a significant amount of customer dissatisfaction and to resolve this we refined our stock ordering and devolved responsibility to our team members, which empowered our people to take ownership of our stock. I will say that if you involve your people in the really important company issues, they will take this on with pride and it creates a sense of a unified team all heading towards the same goal.

The key is to think outside the box and be dynamic; we have learned that we must have the ability to change rapidly to customer demand. So we did away with the obsolete phrase “oh we’ve always done it this way” to the forward thinking approach “of course Mr Customer, we will try our best to resolve your problem”. We can’t be stuck in the past, as my director said “if we do the same thing we’ve been doing in the past, you can expect the same (poor) results”.

What makes Fujitsu Air Conditioners different from other customer service providers in the industry, is that we have made considerable changes and our customers affirm the improvement, as demonstrated by Darrell Lennox (FSW) who told me that our service is “second to none” – well, the best feedback is customer feedback.


Click here to vote.



Tony Davies
13 December 2015 18:39:49

Hi Lynn

Thank you for your reply, especially on a Sunday evening

I agree that having opening this up to departments is a good idea, but I reiterate that I don't think it is fair this year.  It is easy to criticise when it is my decision but I don't think it adds anything to this years awards to do it this way.  It is a great award. I would say the best in the industry for a number of reasons so I am pleased that it is being expanded. But, individuals and departments can't expect to compete fairly when it comes to receiving votes. That surely is obvious.

So  I would call upon anyone who is still sitting on the fence to cast their vote especially if it is for an individual. They will need the votes more than departments will

I said this before but I will say again, good luck to ALL finalists including the departments.


13 December 2015 17:44:34

Hi Tony,

This is the first time that teams have been nominated, and we did have some discussion as to whether we should allow them. We decided that this year we would, see how it goes and make any appropriate decisions for next year.

My opinion at this point is that we will run both individual and team categories for customer service at the ACR News Awards 2017.


Tony Davies
13 December 2015 17:21:31

I wish well to all finalists but my vote is for Andrea from Derbyshire Refrigeration. Simply the best!

I don't think it is fair pitting individuals against departments.  How can an individual hope to gather as many votes as a national department?   Having an award for departments is not a bad idea but this really should be separate so that individuals can compete fairly.


Steve Bridges
07 December 2015 19:08:32

Climalife Service Team,

Helpful, polite, professional, coursteous and technically brillant in all aspects of refrigerants and legislation

06 December 2015 19:03:31

I just read the 'Fred Award' blog and now I have seen this. Fantastic.  I am so excited at being able to vote for the winner.  This is the best award in the ACR industry. Good luck to all the finalists, sorry but I only had one vote or I would have voted for all of you! :-)


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