In today’s challenging trading environment, simply meeting customers’ expectations is not enough - we need to surpass them," says John Lindsay, who is country manager and business unit director at BakeMark UK.

This is why the company is once again proud to sponsor The Customer Focus Award, which aims to find the most customer-orientated bakery businesses in the country. Open to bakeries of all sizes, including craft, in-store bakeries and industrial manufacturers, the award recognises those companies that take customer service and support to a new level. It is not necessary to be a BakeMark UK customer to enter this award.

Lindsay states that he expects the independent judges to be looking for companies that have an excellent understanding of their customers’ needs and requirements, and are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy them. Swift solutions to their customers’ problems or adapting to issues that might arise are important requirements for businesses that take customer support seriously.

Successful entries should be backed up by examples of excellent customer service. This could be researching customers’ markets to come up with new products and services, making improvements to staff training or regular customer feedback questionnaires, which are used to develop the business. Whatever approach you take to putting the customer first, BakeMark UK wants to hear about it.

"This award recognises the huge effort made by all types of bakery companies to find new ways of improving levels of customer service. As a company that strives to provide its customers with the best service possible, BakeMark is aware how important it is to exceed expectations," he says. "We are constantly looking at new ways to provide bakery solutions for our customers; updating and developing key lines to move with the market and help our customers stay one step ahead.

"For all those who do the same and would welcome recognition of their efforts, the Customer Focus Award is the award for you."

Based in the Wirral, BakeMark UK, part of the CSM global bakery supplies business, provides confectionery, bread ingredients and frozen bakery products to the bakery and foodservice industries in the UK & Ireland.


=== Michele Young, retail and brands director of last year’s winner BB’s Coffee and Muffins ===

"Winning the award was a great achievement for all the teams working for BB’s across the country. We make products on-site at 187 stores, so this award was great recognition for the work that our cafés do every single day. It also highlighted the amount of effort we put into product development.

"We were absolutely delighted to win because we were up against such tough competition and will definitely enter other categories at this year’s awards. It’s great publicity for the company. We have merchandising on the counters of all our stores, highlighting the fact that we have been recognised for our customer focus."