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16 Jun, 2019
Writing awards entries always seems like a good idea until it comes to collating the information needed to back up your claims. All too often, would-be killer stats are jettisoned because it’s too time-consuming to collect the data you need to back up your assertions… but companies who operate to an ISO management standard, such as ISO 9001, are often at an advantage.
Impressing the judges without breaking the rules
There’s no place for waffle in an awards entry, every word matters when word counts are tight and judges have only a few minutes to skim read entries. What you need are compelling statistics to knock off the judges’ socks and stick in their minds.
Many awards entries are written by marketers or PR people who probably won’t think of going to their Quality Manager for some killer stats. However, if your business is running a quality management system properly, then your Quality Manager will be the person who lives and breathes your customer experience. They’ll be surveying your customers regularly so will have access to their latest thoughts. They’ve probably already produced some great graphs showing that you have improved the customer experience after taking customer feedback on board. And, if you’ve got ISO 9001 certification, make sure you mention that in your awards entry too, as third party verification is very persuasive.
Can you spot the difference ISO makes?
Putting yourself in the judges’ shoes, which of the following paints a stronger picture of a company’s approach to customer satisfaction?
Simple Design Works and their awards experience
Ruth Parry, Head of Marketing at Simple Design Works, one of our ISO 9001 clients, has this to say about the firm’s first award entry, made this year: “Simple Design Works was recently shortlisted for the High Growth Business of the Year award by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. When writing the application it was only natural that we referred to our work towards ISO 9001 as it fully demonstrated our commitment to our team and how we deliver a high quality and consistent service to our clients. We focused on our employee strategy and how the structure of ISO gave us the tools to identify gaps in our team as well as manage employees too. We also concentrated on the elements of how we manage customers which led to a key collaboration with Intellectual Property specialists, Barker Brettell, which enhances the support we can provide to our clients. In fact, we could demonstrate so many continuous improvement examples thanks to the evaluations, assessments and audits we’d completed, with a limited word count, it was more difficult to know what information to leave out!”
What can you do differently?
The infographic below shares our top tips for awards success. They’ve all been tested in real life and we’ve had considerable success, so please let us know if they work for you too.
Our Golden Rules to follow for writing strong Awards Entries:
We recommend that you set up Google Reviews for your business and encourage your clients to submit them at every opportunity. Being able to claim you have 4* or 5* Google Reviews, like ours, will be useful for the vast majority of business awards plus you’ll have a new source of customer quotes at your fingertips.
Maximising your chances:
If you have the option to add supplementary information in the form of a PDF, do so! It only takes a couple of hours on a free graphics package such as Canva, if you don’t have a designer, to put something together. Use colour and different sized fonts to draw attention to your killer stats and don’t forget to include photos to help bring your business to life.
Make it a team affair:
Although our copywriter, Jill, had the ultimate accountability for our award winning Princess Royal Training Award entry and our newly shortlisted Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ Award text, she drafted in colleagues as backup before hitting ‘submit’. On both occasions, she consulted with team members from Finance, Customer Service and Learning & Development/HR before sitting down in a dark room to write our entries. Once drafts were complete, she asked our Operations Manager, Charlie, who knows our business inside and out and our MD, Jen, who has experience of judging awards, to give them a final once-over.
Ask your suppliers or customers for quotes:
We know the buzz your business can get from winning an award and we’d like to help you win one too!
If you’d like us to provide a quote about our experience of working with you, or how well you run your management system, please get in touch. There will be no charge, it’s all part of our award-winning service.
Are you interested in finding out more about ISO 9001?
If you don’t yet have ISO 9001, take our free Intro to ISO 9001 course to find out more about how the standard can help your business.
ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.
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