Posts Tagged ‘Industry Awards’

Are you ready to win awards?

Are you ready to win awards? Find out with advice from The Awards ExpertHave you or your business ever won an award? If so congratulations, you’ll know the brilliant feeling that comes with being crowned the best leader or business in your sector or region. And you’ll have experienced the value being an award winner brings in helping you stand out from your competitors, improving staff morale, increasing trust in your service, and even growing your business.

But what if you’ve entered awards and not won, or never even entered a business or personal awards competition in the first place? Does that mean you or your business are no good?

Of course not! There can be lots of reasons why you didn’t win, or have been put off entering, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on future awards and let someone else have all the glory, while you watch from the sidelines as their trophy cabinet grows.

The three most common statements I hear when talking to people about awards are:

“I’m skeptical about awards, aren’t they all a fix?”

“Well we entered something last year and didn’t win so we’re not bothering now.” 

“It just takes so much time and we’re too busy right now.

All fair statements, but all possible to overcome if you value your business and want to make it stand out.

How do you know you are entering the right awards?

Awards are not all a fix, just ask the judges who pour over entries and sweat over who’s going to win this year’s prize. The best awards are the toughest to win.

But the last time you entered awards did you do your due diligence in assessing the industry awards horizon from A-Z (there are literally thousands of industry awards out there) investigating the awarding bodies, the category choices, the nitty-gritty of the criteria, the judging process, and the previous winners?

Did you make a shortlist of potential awards programmes then align these with your past 12 months commercial results, projects and successes to see where you stood out and where you might have weaknesses before you decided which programme you were best placed to win?

Or did you pick an awards programme because it’s local/your friend once won/you fancied the gala dinner/you know someone on the judging panel?

And once you had selected the award to enter did you focus on your USP, compile supporting evidence, collect case studies, and write a clear and magical entry that would hook the judges so they didn’t want to put it down?

Or did you leave it until a few days before the deadline, copy and paste some of your marketing info into the answers, write all the clever jargon terms you could think of and blind the judges with science, or make them weep with frustration with a lack of evidence?

How to become a winner:

Don’t worry, if you did any of the above you are not alone. Winning awards is not easy, that’s why companies like Nationwide invest in a full time awards coordinator to make sure they consistently raise their value by winning awards.

But not entering awards is not simply saving yourself from disappointment; it’s just missing an opportunity to shine and letting someone else stand out instead.

So how do you know if you are truly ready to win awards?

Every personal or business story is different, so there might be that golden nugget just waiting to help you win awards, but if you don’t investigate further you will never know.

First take a look at The Award Expert’s Guide to Winning Awards to see if you could be ready to win.

If you answered yes to the questions in the guide and you’re still not winning awards then there are two main areas where you could be going wrong:

  1. You are entering the wrong awards programmes or categories. If you don’t run in the right race, you’re never going to win.
  2. You are in the right competition, but your entries are letting you down. Weak, boring, or badly written entries won’t get you anywhere and are simply a waste of your time and the judges’.

To find out which awards you have the best chance of winning and make sure you have the best written entries book your FREE consultation with The Awards Expert.

This year could be the year you really stand out – so are you ready to win awards?

The Award Expert’s guide to winning awards

 

Donna O'Toole, The Award Expert's guide to winning awards

Have you ever wondered if you could be ready to win awards?

Or are you puzzling over why you didn’t win the last award you entered?

Answer the questions below in The Award Expert’s Guide to Winning Awards to find out if you are ready to win prestigious recognition for your achievements: 

About you:

  • Are you an entrepreneur, leader or director with an innovative or successful product or service?
  • Are you a brand with people, products and service to be proud of?

About your results:

  • Has your business been trading for at least 12 months?
  • Has your turnover and profit grown over the last 12 months?

About your achievements:

  • Do you have a company leader, team or individual who stands out for their achievements?
  • Do you have a new product that is achieving significant sales results?
  • Do your customers sing your praises for service and experience?
  • Do you champion your employees and create positive engagement?
  • Do your finances show excellent domestic or international growth?
  • Do you support the environment, society or the community as part of your business plan?

Did you answer yes to at least one question in each section?

Congratulations, you could be winning awards for your achievements! From innovation awards to customer service; Queen’s Awards to personal honours, if you stand out for all the right reasons you may be ready to gain formal recognition for your successes.

Contact The Awards Expert to find out which awards you stand to win this year, empower yourself to achieve even more and start showing your customers, your peers and your competitors why you really are outstanding.

There are awards deadlining every day so don’t miss out or you might have to wait another year to enter. Book your FREE awards consultation today.

5 ways to win customer service awards

Donna O'Toole, customer service awards, national business awards, UK Customer Experience Awards, INdustry awards, local awards, national awards, the communications director

Winning customer service awards is one of the most credible ways of making your business stand out from the competition; encouraging customer loyalty, and creating new business growth.

If you are proud of the achievements you have made in creating an excellent customer experience you could be in line to win an award – but only if you pick the right competitions and then take the time to enter!

There are a wide range of awards programmes to choose from that will recognise your customer service initiatives. So how do you know where to start, when you have a realistic chance of winning, and which awards will bring you the best benefits and help you achieve your wider business goals?

When it comes to selecting awards to enter there are five possible approaches you could take:

1. Industry Specific Awards: Enter customer-focused categories within specific industry awards. This will allow you to stand out from competitors within your industry – for example: Retail Week Customer Experience Awards, UK Financial Services Experience Awards.

2. Discipline Specific Awards: Enter a discipline-specific category within a customer service award. This will give you the ultimate recognition for your customer initiatives – for example: The Institute of Customer Services Customer Satisfaction Awards, The UK Customer Experience Awards.

3. General Business Awards: Enter customer-focused categories within general business awards. In these awards you will compete against businesses from all other industry sectors giving you a wider audience for your success – for example: The National Business Awards, The European Business Awards, The International Business Awards.

4. Local/Regional Awards: Enter customer-centric categories within local and regional awards. This will demonstrate that you are a great business in your area and help you attract local customers – for example: The Sussex Business Awards, The Gatwick Diamond Awards, The Midlands Business Awards

5. All Awards: Make your message even more powerful by combining all of the strategic approaches above into an awards strategy tailored to your strengths. This approach is the most effective all round, allowing you to stand out from your peers and your competitors, appealing to industry leaders and investors, and ultimately attracting even more customers.

Once you have chosen which awards to enter, make sure you have everything ready to help you stand out to the judges. You could be asked a multitude of questions like these:

  1. How do you measure the success of your customer service processes?
  2. How do you align your customer service initiatives to your wider commercial strategy?
  3. How do you apply innovation to your customer experiences?
  4. How have you utilised technology to improve your customer experience?
  5. How do you ensure employee engagement with your customer service initiatives?

Awards for the best customer service are one of the most popular categories to enter and there are quite literally thousands out there to choose from, no matter how big or small your company. But the entry requirements and criteria are different for every award so one size will not fit all when it comes to writing your entry, compiling evidence, and impressing the judges.  

Before you launch yourself out into the sea of customer service awards without a clear view of the horizon, talk to an expert. I will maximise your chances of winning and give your entry everything it needs to get you to the top. 

The better aligned your awards strategy is with your wider goals, the more benefits there will be for your business in the long run.  

Check out 10 Steps to winning awards to make sure you have what it takes to win, and find out ‘Why the customer is not always right‘ in CX magazine to find out what makes brilliant customer service. 

Donna O’Toole is an experienced Awards Expert who has helped businesses large and small win awards by creating their awards strategies, directing and writing winning award entries. Contact Donna today for a FREE awards consultation.

10 steps to winning business awards

 

Donna O'Toole, The Awards Expert, Award Entry Writer, Awards Adviser, Customer Experience Awards, Employer Awards, Industry Awards, International Business Awards, National Business Awards, UK Awards, Win Business Awards

The benefits of winning awards can be huge – more customers will choose you over the competition, you’ll get the best talent applying for your jobs, and you will boost internal morale. You’ll also often receive feedback to help you improve your business even further.

But entering business awards can feel a bit like a game of cards – play the right hand and you’ll be a winner, but miss out on that vital card and your competitor will take the lot. 

So how do you know if you are ready to enter awards and win in the first place?

First you need to pick an awards programme that is right for you. Start by investigating which awards will give you the most valuable recognition, put you in front of the right audience, align you with the best brands, and bring your business the best benefits.

Once you’ve identified the ideal awards programmes, next you need to find the right categories to highlight your successes by filtering through their specific criteria.

Next you need to get all the right evidence together to demonstrate your achievements. And only once you have completed this three stage process can you even think about starting to write your entry. 

Every single award competition sets its own entry requirements, criteria and benchmarking scores, so you must check these carefully before entering. Here are a few general guidelines that will help you gather everything you need to stand a chance of winning.

Answer the questions below to give yourself the maximum chance of hitting the awards jackpot:

  1. Do you have at least 12 months company finances showing positive results?
  2. Have you identified your USP for the award – how are you going to stand out?
  3. Do you have positive customer feedback and testimonials from key accounts?
  4. Do you have permission to share the details of your client projects?
  5. Do you have both qualitative and quantitative evidence of your success?
  6. Can you demonstrate that your product or service is leading your industry?
  7. Can you show that your innovation is making money – it’s not just a ‘good idea’?
  8. Do you have photos, imagery or videos that can bring your entry to life?
  9. Can you demonstrate how you have overcome challenges to reach your goals?
  10. Can you demonstrate multiple ways in which you have progressed and grown?

These 10 questions are just the start. There is a lot more to winning awards than meets the eye. Speak to an expert to make sure you enter awards that are the perfect fit for you and save yourself hours, weeks and sometimes even months of preparation.

Contact me for a FREE consultation and I’ll give you all the information you need to help you stand out for all the right reasons and become an award winner.