TRRAIN (Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India) Retail Awards were held in Delhi on December 12 celebrating the excellence in customer service by honouring front end retail associates who have created memorable shopping experiences for their customers throughout the year. Three national winners, namely, Gurdit Singh from HyperCity, Neha Kumari of Domino’s, and Satish Pandey of Shoppers Stop, were announced by BS Nagesh, Founder, TRRAIN and D ShivaKumar, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo out of the 16 regional winners.
All the 2013 winners had inspirational stories to share. While some braved extreme weather, accident and even injury to deliver products to customers on time, others went out of their way to help customers in unique ways. For instance, a young suit salesman landed up at the wedding venue with the groom’s suit just in time for the nuptials despite being seriously injured in an accident. In another heartwarming instance, a pizza delivery boy not only refused to charge a customer when he found out that his wallet had been picked, he also loaned the customer money to pay for his hotel tariff and go back home.
The jury comprised the experts from the F&B industry, retail, art and literature led by former Crossword Bookstore CEO, R Sriram. Other jury members included Samir Kukreja from National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), Amitabh Taneja, Chief Convenor, India Retail Forum, Akash Sahai, MD, AIMIA, author Urvashi Bhutalia and independent consultant Ireena Vittal.
Gurdit Singh from HyperCity Amritsar was adjudged the national gold winner for taking the initiative to deliver goods to a customer’s home in a different state. Singh transported an expensive tread mill to a Palampur based customer using the daily bus service, absolutely free of cost! This way the customer saved on delivery charges and the store started getting orders from Himachal Pradesh. “I was just doing my job. We could not have charged them delivery charges, because they amounted to a third of the price of the equipment. My store manager stood by my decision and today we have managed to generate new sales. I grateful to TRRAIN for this recognition”, said Singh.
Neha Kumari Singh of Dominos, Patna was declared the national silver winner for showing initiative in solving an intercity delivery problem. The bronze went to Satish Pandey of Shoppers Stop, Lucknow for tactfully dealing with an in-store theft that involved two customers and ensuring the property was returned to the rightful owner.
Speaking on the occasion, Nagesh stated: “This year the stories of customer service excellence are exceptional. We have seen our associates using skills to serve customers at the same time increase sales.” He further added that the retail journey is all about 25 years of learning, 25 years of earning, and 25 years of returning, something I am ding right now. I would suggest other like-minded retail professionals to give back the industry that has given them so much.”
“This is our third year and the stories are only getting more inspirational. These are ordinary men and women with the will to do extraordinary things. The best thing is they always serve their customers with a smile,” said Ameesha Prabhu, CEO, TRRAIN.