What do we have to do to enter?

Entry is simple. It takes very little time. All you are required to do is return the Entry form with your business details and the names and phone contact numbers of four customers and one Trade Supplier. Ensure you let the contacts know we will be calling them. You can pay the entry fee through the secure site on this website (your credit card details go straight to the Bank and are not seen by us) or arrange directly with us to pay by EFT or card.

What do you mean by ‘Trade Supplier’?

We do not do a credit check. The questions we ask are predominantly relationship and referral oriented. Your Trade Supplier contact is anyone who you purchase products or services from for your business. It could be a printer, office supplier or even your accountant. We ask you for a Trade Supplier contact because we treat them as an internal customer . The way you treat your suppliers gives us an additional measure on your overall attitude towards relationships with everyone you come in contact with. The weighting given to the Trade supplier score is about 10% of your overall rating.

I don’t like imposing on my customers. How long do you keep them on the phone?

We understand entirely that your customers are very, very important to you. Our phone call takes about two to five minutes to complete with someone who is busy. And about a minute with your Trade Supplier. More often than not, your customers will spin the conversation out because they are keen to assist and want us to understand exactly what they are saying about you. Our office staff remain calm, polite and friendly, whilst maintaining impartiality at all times.

Do I need to send you additional things such as reference letters from customers or a Business Presentation?

No, we do not take extra materials into account. We rely absolutely on the phone responses we get from your contacts. To do otherwise would be unfair on others, and would entail bringing our own judgement to bear on the assessment process. This is against our policy of maintaining an arms length distance from any possible subjectivity that an outsider could impose on the process.

Do you visit us or mystery shop our premises?

No, we do not visit you at all. To do so would entail bringing our own judgement to bear on the assessment process. This is against our policy of maintaining an arms length distance from any possible subjectivity that an outsider could impose on the process.

Is there a minimum period a business needs to have been operating before it can enter these Awards?

There is no minimum period. We leave this to your own common sense to determine whether you have established a consistent approach to your service levels and have achieved a base of satisfied customers. The Award cannot be abused by attempting to create an image through false references. Our methods unveil deceptiveness.

We are a very small business. How can we compete against larger, more established businesses?

We have many, many one or two person businesses that have won their category in these Awards. Quite often, being small means that you are able to establish very strong, even personal, relationships with your customers. These relationships are often the key to attitude, care and attention, reliability and trustworthiness issues. You have equal opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your customers.

We have a large number of staff. How can we compete against a smaller business?

We have many, many large businesses that have won their category in these Awards. By being a larger company, you will have systems and processes in place for how you approach your customers. This gives you consistency and gives your staff the right tools for dealing with customer relationships. We find that the key to good customer relations always comes from the attitude at the top. If the owner or manager of the business is customer focussed and has the personality that encourages staff commitment to customers, then you will find you can achieve very high levels of customer satisfaction.

The business category you have placed us in is not relevant to our business.

Some say they fit into a smaller niche segment of a category and shouldn t be competing against others in a different niche who (a) don t spend as much time as they have to, or who (b) spend a lot more time – with their customers.

Australian Achiever Awards are unable to sub-divide the number of categories we run over 12 months. If the category definition is important to you, we can adjust your Certificate to suit you. But, although it is good to be a Winner, the Award benefits all those that achieve, Winner and Highly Recommended alike, and remains a major promotional tool for your business.

How can you assess our customer service levels by talking to three customers and a trade supplier?

Because we are an independent organisation, your customers are more inclined to be honest and score you as they truly believe. Our assessment process is calculated over a possible total of 472 points which enables us to quantify your score with accuracy.

The proof of this is demonstrated by the results we have of a large number of businesses who have entered multiple years. For the majority, the results achieved each year are within a range of one or two percentage points. The results listed on our “Gallery of Best Businesses” page are real results open to audit. In all cases we have spoken to different customers for each business each year.

We do our own customer surveys and know we give good service. Why should we enter these awards?

You will find most customers are more frank with an independent organisation. The results we give you should better reflect the actual situation. But these measures are only part of the benefit you receive entering the Awards. The promotional advantage of being part of a groundswell of interest in good customer service is enormous. Every business that makes the most of this distinctive award to enhance their marketing and promotion by endorsing their good customer image benefits from the cumulative effect created by all who are using it.

Why is there an entry fee?

Many sponsored Awards for small to medium businesses are free to enter. And many Awards are not. But, invariably, entering any Award will cost you something. Whether this is a ‘subscription’, paying for mandatory table/guest costs at a Presentation Dinner, or paying for the Certificate provided, or spending your own valuable time and business costs for preparation of a submission of some sort. The Australian Achiever Awards are self-funded and charge an administration fee to operate the Awards. The question you should ask yourself is – How much more business will be generated by this Award and will that be worth more than the cost?.

The entry fee is a small investment in the future growth of your business.

What if my industry category has a small number of entrants?

A category?must have a minimum?of three entrants for it to run.?If there are fewer than three entrants in a category, entries are still administered and judging undertaken.? You will still receive your results notification and achieve a Highly Recommended status (if you achieve over 80%), or a State Winner status (if you achieve over 98%). Your results?will then also be entered into our Australian Specialised Services & Supplies category.? A National Winner will be awarded from this category at the end of the year.

How do you work out the awarding of National and State Winners?

Each category will have an overall National Winner who will receive a prestigious Australian Achiever Awards winner trophy.? Most categories will also have State Winners.? State Winners do not receive a trophy, however they are able to use the winner logo (dated for the year they won).? If a business is the only entrant for a particular state, they must achieve a score of 90% or above in order to be eligible to be titled the State Winner.? All entrants who score 80% or above are able to use the highly recommended logo (dated for the year they won).

What are your credentials?

The Australian Achiever Awards have existed since March 1998. They are operated by Australian Achiever Pty Ltd. Backgrounds of the Directors can be found on the “About Us” page on this website.

We are well known to Government authorities. We were examined by the Victorian Department of Justice Office of Fair Trading & Business Affairs when we began in 1998.

Since then, we have worked with the Victorian Department of Justice – Consumer and Business Affairs Victoria who spent five months, February to June 2001, checking all the businesses who entered over that period for any consumer complaints made against them. The outcome of that was the Department decided to cease its checking because (quote) It appears that 99.9% of the businesses do not have any problems and your techniques will pick up any of concern (end quote).

We have had The Hon Louise Asher MP for Victoria as Guest Speaker at two of our Annual Celebration Dinners and The Hon Philip Honeywood MP for Victoria at another.

We seek sponsors but have not done so persistently. Its tough, because an ideal Corporate Sponsor of these awards would need to possess an unblemished record for its own care for customers. This criterion is one which very few Corporates could ever claim.

We have approached Government authorities for endorsement. Although they recognise the good we are doing, they say they cannot be seen to endorse any private enterprise.

The Australian Achiever Awards for customer service excellence is an innovative idea which is viable as a self supporting concept. Thirty years experience in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations is enough cumulation of knowledge and skill to establish such a concept in a highly ethical manner.

The huge value of this Award is proved by all the businesses who continue to enter year after year.