Prize guys' reward after super service
ST STEPHEN'S has launched an initiative to attract more people to visit the city centre and create levels of customer service "among the very best in the country".
The shopping centre has introduced a customer service awards scheme for retailers.
The awards are voted for by customers and recognise the retailers that deliver exceptional service.
It is hoped the scheme will be rolled out across the city, to encourage more people to shop locally.
Centre manager Jim Harris said: "In tough times, you can't get enough research about your business and we should all take the time to listen to our customers.
"We were very conscious that as much as there is the bricks and mortar here at St Stephen's.
"Our customers are the most important thing we have.
"Some of the feedback was so positive we thought, 'we need to take it further, so let's reward the things they are doing'."
Mr Harris said he thinks celebrating those that have done their job well gives other shops targets to reach and therefore can help to raise standards.
He said: "I think the city needs an annual customer service awards. It would be something useful to do if we are going to take ourselves seriously as a city."
More than 300 people voted in the poll and Mr Harris said the awards could benefit not only the retail industry but other businesses too, basically anyone who has clients or customers.
Mr Harris is now working on plans to extend this initiative to become a city-wide scheme. He said: "We want the levels of customer service that shoppers receive in Hull to be among the very best in the country.
"We have a lot of awards in the business community but we neglect customers at our peril and don't consult them enough.
"These awards draw right down to the people who walk into the city centre. That is the only way we are going to do better.
"We have to begin by looking at ourselves to make sure we're making the centre as good as it can be.
"To do this, it's essential we recognise and reward great customer service and the customer service awards are a step towards achieving this."
HullBID city centre manager Kathryn Shillito presented the winning stores with their trophies.