Hertfordshire based, Ashbourne Insurance has won two prestigious national awards at this year’s Red Ribbon Family Business Awards. The leading 31 year-old insurance broker won the “Customer First” category and the firm’s Sarah Smits, Finance Director won the “Family Business Ambassador” award. The awards were announced on Friday, November 23rd at The Red Ribbon Awards Dinner at the Pullman Hotel, St Pancras, London in front of an audience of 175 fellow nominees, sponsors, judges and other distinguished OBE/MBE guests.
Ashbourne Insurance, which employs 25 people across its two high street locations in Hoddesdon and Cheshunt, were delighted to bring home two awards especially as it was competing against some very dynamic national companies. Fellow nominees in the Customer First category included The 5 star Goring Hotel of Royal Wedding fame (Kate Middleton stayed there the night before her wedding to Prince William); Timpson’s with 900 stores across the UK; and, Travel Counsellors – a global travel company with 1,200 travel counsellors working across six countries.
The Customer First Award was described as “recognising the family business that puts customer service at the heart of everything they do with clear objectives and methods of monitoring customer satisfaction.” The judges comments about Ashbourne Insurance were: “Keeping customers happy is important as growing a new business. For its commitment to developing genuine relationships and understanding the demands and needs of the market before defining solutions. By empowering and developing staff skills, it chooses not to hide behind call-centres and internet sites. And for their impressive 85% customer retention the Winner of the 2012 Red Ribbon award for Customer First is Ashbourne Insurance.”
The family-run independent high street broker offers a one-stop service, from personal and complex commercial insurances to 24-hour claims advisory support.
Peter Smits, Ashbourne’s Managing Director said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised as the best family-run business offering the highest levels of customer service in the country. Our Hertfordshire customers have known that for the past 31 years but it is a great accomplishment to be acknowledged as the best in class throughout the UK. At Ashbourne we have invested heavily into training programmes that have been customised for our dedicated team of 25 which in turn has had a direct positive effect on customer service, evidenced in the recognition we received for “Customer First” at The 2012 Red Ribbon Awards.”
Commenting on his wife’s award, Peter said: “I am very proud of my wife Sarah for winning the “Family Business Ambassador” award. She has been recognised as the most outstanding professional advisor for helping a family business to flourish. Ashbourne’s sustained growth is due in large part to Sarah’s excellent networking skills, promotion and marketing of our business.”
Now in its 3rd year, the prestigious Red Ribbon Awards are the only family business awards in the UK to recognise the achievements of family business of all sizes from around the country.
Anita Brightley-Hodges, Managing Director of Family Place Business who run the awards, said: “From small manufacturing companies, to luxury brands and high street names; all those shortlisted for the Red Ribbon Awards 2012 have demonstrated outstanding achievements and are flying the flag for the UK’s family business sector. “
Anita also stated: “A record number of family businesses have taken part this year, all determined to prove that they are the best at what they do and Ashbourne Insurance are very worthy winners who were able to evidence to our panels of judges the outstanding customer care offered to their customers. Ashbourne is the only business to win two coveted Red Ribbon Awards this year.”
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