The BBB Serving Central Oklahoma has announced the winners of its first annual Torch Award for Customer Service and Ethics in the Marketplace at ceremonies conducted at its offices on August 22. The winners were determined by surveying the BBB's computer system, which selected finalists from the database based on the numbers of customer inquiries, satisfactorily-resolved disputes, time in business, and other considerations. Each winner earned their award based on years of exemplary service that any business owner or manager should be proud to have achieved. Here are the profiles of the ten award winners.
Sometimes, car dealers get a black eye because of the actions of a few bad apples in the industry. AutoMax's staff has impressed the BBB by consistently thinking outside the box to satisfy customers and resolve complaints in creative ways without sacrificing their own legal and ethical obligations. Many times, when the customer's contract says that they're dead wrong, AutoMax is willing to step out from behind its own valid policies and address matters on an individual basis.
As one might expect, customers are far more likely to request BBB reports or file complaints on big ticket items like cars and major repairs than they are to be concerned about buying a pack of gum. The largest single investment for most families is their home, and Brookshire Homes of Yukon has created a sterling reputation in just four short years in business. Not only are home buyers assured of a high-quality product at a fair price, they have the security of knowing that the business's commitment to making things right includes the safety net of BBB arbitration - but there has never been a complaint filed against the firm to test that obligation.
Champion Windows, which has roots in Ohio dating back to the 1950's, conducts its business in Oklahoma City with precision, honesty, and great clarity. In many areas, the advertising of replacement windows is a real headache for BBBs, but Champion is a major reason why this marketplace enjoys advertising in this industry that is almost above reproach. Champion remains at the forefront of product technology and customer service.
A lot of us might complain about our cellular telephone bills. Even the ads commonly seen poke fun at complicated bills and unique terms. On a local level, Cingular Wireless' customers have not been shy about asking questions about their bills, but the business has done an excellent job of responding to matters of dispute in a manner that other cell phone providers haven't matched. Their customers are treated politely, with dignity, and in terms that even those who don't own a legal dictionary can understand.
People often think of the BBB as a place to run with complaints. It's unusual for a business to receive COMPLIMENTARY letters forwarded to a BBB. Elliott Roofing's file at the BBB is peppered with letters praising just about every aspect of their business, from the professionalism of the estimators to the speed of the construction teams all the way through to the kindness of the billing personnel. In another industry that customers sometimes feel a bit leery of trusting, Elliott Roofing's management and staff take the mystery out of construction and earn an award for customer service every day.
When a BBB has the home office of a national or international business in its area, it's generally accepted that the home office BBB will take the complaints on that business. For many BBB offices in this situation, life becomes a nightmare and the influx of disputes literally requires additional staff members to keep up. Such is not the case here, and Hertz Rental Cars has accomplished a feat rarely seen in these circumstances: They have impressed the BBB's staff with the business's ability to give reasonable, thoughtful, and fair responses in a very timely manner.
Each local news station has something they try to do a little better than anyone else in town. Someone touts having stronger Doppler radar or better sports coverage or earlier late news. KFOR has been known regionally and outside our market for customer coverage. The need to provide concise, useable information to protect customers has been very real to the entire staff. The Torch Award represents recognition for that commitment to preventing customers from making costly mistakes.
When customers can buy furniture from competitors ranging from converted gas stations to internationally-known showrooms, it must be tempting for managers to resort to a shell game of advertising tactics, shoddy merchandise, and lackluster warranties. Mathis Brothers Furniture rises above the pack of the many fine furniture dealers in our area and leaves the shady operators in the dust with unparalleled customer support and quick dispute resolution practices.
Like many types of business, banking is a very competitive industry. The stakes are even higher when one realizes that a current customer for a bank may spend his or her entire adult life loyal to the same institution - unless there's a problem. Ultimately, a customer's choice to between one bank over another hinges on the extras an institution may offer, or how quickly they've kept pace with technology. Midfirst Bank has been complimented by many customers for the firm's ability to make complicated banking issues easier for the common person to understand.
Specializing in patio enclosures, carports, and siding, Southwest Builders Supply shares something in common with the BBB - its clientele includes both corporate and residential customers. As a general contractor, the firm maintains a diverse client base with relatively few employees and manages to keep their customers satisfied whether they're designing a shady screened-in porch for a retired couple or shaded dining for a restaurant.
The Board of Directors, Staff and BBB Accredited Businesses offer their congratulations to the winners.