Suffolk Business Awards: 'Customer first' ethos sees Vertas Group Ltd secure award

Karen Burrows and Julia Dolan with her Customer care Suffolk Business Award 2020 Pictrure: CHARLOTT

Karen Burrows (L) and Julia Dolan with the Customer care Suffolk Business Award 2020 - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The facilities management specialists at Vertas Group Ltd won the Customer Care Award, sponsored by Greater Anglia, at the Suffolk Business Awards.

Award logos

The Customer Care award was sponsored by Greater Anglia - Credit: Archant

Taking care of customers is critical for every business – and it’s been both more important and tougher than ever during the pandemic. The 2020 Suffolk Business Awards’ prestigious Customer Care award, sponsored by Greater Anglia, was awarded to Vertas Group Ltd.

“It’s been a really good year to win this award because it just lifted everyone,” says Julia Dolan, head of customer relations. “Morale was good, but winning just made it sky high.”

“Knowing that you can make a difference, going out of your way to genuinely make a difference... and then winning an award that tells you you’ve made a difference is pretty awesome,” says Karen Burrowes, associate director – operations.

Security guard talking into a radio

As well as school catering, cleaning and other services, Vertas Group Ltd can provide security services - Credit: Vertas/Pagepix

With a huge portfolio of facilities management services – from grounds maintenance and security to school catering, cleaning, transport and more – the challenge for Vertas is making sure a team of more than 3,000 people delivers the same standard of customer care. 

“Our group operations director Keith Buet’s favourite expression is 'customer first' and he encourages the whole organisation to think that way,” Julia explains. “If you ask our teams what motivates them to get up in the mornings, the top answer is they want to delight our customers.”

Julia Dolan with her Customer care Suffolk Business Award 2020 Pictrure: CHARLOTTE BOND

Julia Dolan with the Customer Care award: "It shows that we really do put our customers first" - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

It was a huge team effort, led by individuals like head of security Peter Sutton and head of grounds maintenance Shaun Swan. Ultimately, everyone in the organisation contributed to the success, though Julie Dorling, who manages the finance-support service for schools, and school catering manager Julie-Ann Murray were also highlighted as “shining stars”, after great praise from customers. 

Man on ride-on mower

One of the services provided by Vertas Group Ltd is ground maintenance - Credit: Vertas/Pagepix

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“There was so much positivity from the customers when the award was announced," Karen says. "Partnership is so important to us. It's about working together to get the best for our customers, so it’s been lovely that so many have picked up the phone to say, ‘We love that you’ve won, because we feel part of it – we've experienced that service'.”

Karen Burrows with her Customer care Suffolk Business Award 2020 Pictrure: CHARLOTTE BOND

Karen Burrows with the Customer Care Award: "Winning an award that tells you you’ve made a difference is pretty awesome" - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

“It’s been great to be able to take a moment to celebrate people, in particular our caterers and cleaners in schools – many haven’t stopped at all during the pandemic. Celebrating and thanking them is a huge part of this award,” says Julia.

“Can we defend our award? We have several very exciting plans we will have a story to tell that takes our journey one step forward for next year,” she adds.
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