|Shopping centres up and down the country offering outstanding customer experience were acknowledged yesterday evening (11 Sep) at the BCSC ACE Awards. The ACE (Achieving Customer Excellence) Awards, launched in 2006, celebrate and reward dedication and innovation in customer care within the retail industry.
For the first time this year, the awards were presented as part of the BCSC Annual Conference, taking place in Liverpool from 10-12 September. The four 2012 ACE Award winners were Overgate, Dundee; Kingdom Shopping Centre; Glenrothes; Westfield, Derby and the Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, while the coveted TOP ACE Award went to Westfield Derby.
All winners were visited by two mystery shoppers, as well as expert members of the BCSC Committee, who agreed the winners between them. In addition to the ACE "Star" awards, ACE “Superstars” were also handed out to two exceptional individuals, nominated by their shopping centres, who make a significant contribution to customer experience. Winners were Andrew Smith from Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Maureen Loughenbury from Westfield Derby.
More than 2,500 retail property professionals from across the UK are attending the BCSC Annual Conference, hearing from keynote speakers including Luke Johnson and Mary Portas. The conference seeks to address the big issues affecting the industry including the challenges posed by the current economic climate and the plight facing our town centres, as highlighted in Mary Portas Governmental Review and Pilot Towns project.
The awards were presented in the same week that BCSC [Educational Trust] launches its new best practice guide, researched and written by RealService; Creating outstanding customer experience in shopping centres, an update of the well received 2005 guide which acted as a precursor to the ACE Awards The report finds that customer expectations and needs have altered dramatically since 2005 particularly with regard to the online offer, and challenges the industry to respond to the fast moving market and ever-challenging economic conditions.
Michael Green, Chief Executive of BCSC comments: “At a time when online retailing poses a continued threat on high street and shopping centre trade, customer service is a more valuable tool than ever in creating an enjoyable experience for consumers. With this in mind, we have featured customer experience more prominently at this year’s conference, and this is why acknowledging those who go the extra mile is so important.”
Full details of ACE Awards and this year's winners can be found at www.bcsc.org.uk/aceawards
The BCSC report Creating outstanding customer experience in shopping centres can be downloaded from www.bcsc.org.uk/research