Newcastle West and District Chamber of Commerce in association with the Weekly Observer is delighted to announce the launch of a monthly award scheme for exceptional customer service.

The scheme was officially launched last Thursday evening at the Courtenay Lodge, Newcastle West, and was attended by a gathering representing local businesses and Newcastle West Community Association represented by its chairman Michael Finucane. Matt O’Callaghan of the Weekly Observer and Peter Byrne, President of the local Chamber of Commerce, were also in attendance.

Each month the public will be asked to nominate people who they consider go the extra mile in providing customer service and a monthly winner be will selected and photographed at their place of work as well as receiving an acknowledgement. At the end of the year the monthly award winners will gather for the choosing of an overall winner at a Gala Reception.     

Kieran O’Regan, a past president of the local chamber, introduced the speakers and greeted the launch of the scheme as being indicative of the high standards already set by local business and referred to the importance of acknowledging those high standards in the local community.

Matt O’Callaghan of the Weekly Observer spoke about the importance of forging links with the business community and expressed delight at the Observer’s association with the awards. Peter Byrne, President of the Chamber of Commerce, expressed the need for a continuation of the high standards in customer service and that the Chamber of Commerce would not be found wanting in its support for local business endeavour. He also mentioned in his address the upcoming Fashion Show organised at the Desmond Castle which will show case the best in fashion from the region.  

Michael Finucane referred to the many attractions that Newcastle West has to offer and the strong sense of community spirit that exists throughout the local area and was very positive in his support for the awards which he said would acknowledge the efforts of many people who contribute to the economic wellbeing of the town and area. 

Newcastle West and indeed the area should be particularly proud of its achievement in the area of customer service delivery and this award scheme will now ensure that the ‘Unsung Hero’, the great employee, the worker who is always delivering over the top and in a consistent manner now receives some recognition.

When we ask employers what makes their business better than the competition, many will say “customer service”.  Some will claim that they “go the extra mile” for their customers.  Of course, “customer service” can mean many different things – friendliness, reliability, courtesy, understanding the customers’ requirements, on time delivery, etc.  And, what does “going the extra mile” really mean? What is the difference between good and great service. Good service may happen once in a while or a number of times. You get that one nice person, you have that one great interaction, that one exceptional experience. Service becomes great when it becomes consistent.

What makes the difference?

Every time you call to a business you have a need, the response should always be the same: outstanding. Each employee, whether in the restaurant; at the counter; at the front office; in security; cleaning the rooms; or maintaining the property or even answering the door, has the same genuine smile, warm greeting, and the ability to meet our query or deliver the service that is required. It feels great to be their customer. Consistency builds loyalty, trust, and business and that is the reason for these awards.

Factors for considering when submitting a nominee for consideration should include:

·  Customer Care 

·  Taking the time to be interested in looking after the customer

·  Going the extra mile for you

·  Making you feel special

·  General interaction with the customer

·  Meeting/Exceeding customer expectations

·  Acknowledging and greeting

·  After sales service 

Who can be nominated ?

A person can be nominated by their employer who feels that their employee merits the award because they make such a difference to the business or by a customer who has experienced excellent service from a local business be it in a retail shop / local service  / restaurant / industry etc.

How to nominate; 

Nomination forms are available in all local businesses or alternatively from the Newcastle West and District Chamber of Commerce by emailing A completed application form can also be forwarded to :

Customer Service Awards,

Newcastle West and District Chamber of Commerce,

Weigh House, 

Market Yard,

Newcastle West.  

The closing date will be the last Friday of each month, beginning on Friday, September 28th 2012, and the judge’s decision will be final.