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Experience Guildford announces this year’s Customer Service Awards shortlist

25th July 2019

For the last six weeks, residents and visitors to Guildford have been voting for the businesses in the town that they feel go the extra mile in terms of providing great customer service as part of the Experience Guildford Customer Service Awards. Now in their seventh year, the awards have become a key calendar event of the town, highlighting businesses that consistently put their customers first and covering the full retail and leisure mix.

Voting closed on Friday 19th July, with well over 3,000 votes received across the campaign period. Three businesses per category were then shortlisted, with two hotly contested categories resulting in a tie-break and thus four businesses nominated, namely Professional Services and Independent Retail.

This shortlisted businesses for the 2019 Experience Guildford Customer Service Awards include:

Coffee Shops

  • Gallery Café
  • Fresco
  • Coffee Culture

Food on The Go

  • Goodfillas
  • Meat the Greek
  • PastaOut

Hair & Beauty

  • Mavericks Man
  • Sanrizz
  • Headcase

Health & Fitness

  • Red Hot Yoga
  • Field of Fitness
  • Fitstuff

Leisure & Lifestyle

  • Yvonne Arnaud
  • Unplug + Play
  • The Electric Theatre

Professional Services (Sponsored by Chapters Financial)

  • Nationwide
  • Virgin Money
  • Skipton
  • Halifax

Service Providers

  • White Lion Walk
  • Guildford Library
  • Adult Education Centre

Pubs, Bars and Clubs

  • The Star Inn
  • Three Pigeons
  • The Britannia

Restaurant Independent (Sponsored by The County Club)

  • Zucchini Italian Kitchen
  • Thai Terrace
  • La Casita

Restaurant National

  • TGI Fridays
  • The March Hare
  • Cosy Club

Retail Independent

  • Guildford Cobbler
  • Whibleys
  • Ben’s Collectors Records
  • The Bear Garden

Retail Large (20 staff or more) (Sponsored by Tunsgate Quarter)

  • Debenhams
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Waitrose & Partners

Retail Small (20 staff or less)

  • Bravissimo
  • Pure Collection
  • River Island

Each of the shortlisted businesses will now be visited and assessed by a ‘Secret Shopper’ who will anonymously evaluate and feedback on their standard of service. The ‘Secret Shops’ in Guildford will be carried out by UK wide retail research company, insight6, who have conducted thousands of mystery shops for a variety of businesses.

The final winners of each of the categories will then be announced at a special ceremony at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on Monday 16 September, along with the winner of the ‘Shining Star’ category, offering managers of individual stores or businesses the chance to nominate their staff members who they feel should be recognised for great service.

Commenting on this year’s nominations and the huge response received through the public vote, Amanda Masters, chief executive at Experience Guildford, the town centre’s Business Improvement District (BID) says:

“Yet again we’ve been bowled over by the public’s support and enthusiasm for this year’s Customer Service Awards. In a time of much uncertainty across UK high streets, it is imperative that we all understand and appreciate that our town’s success and prosperity relies on the businesses that operate within it. These businesses consistently put delivering outstanding customer service at the heart of everything that they do, and it is us, the public who massively benefit from this. Not only does it make our retail and leisure experiences more memorable and pleasant, but as a whole, it also goes a long way to ensuring the economic vitality of our town for the long term.

“Thank to everyone who has taken the time out to give us their nominations and to our new sponsors for supporting this year’s awards; The County Club, Chapters Financial and Tunsgate Quarter.”

Guildford High Street and shoppers on a busy summer market day Guildford Surrey UK

For more information on the Experience Guildford Customer Service Awards visit