Service the Secret to Success
Article date: Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:07 GMT
The entrepreneur at the helm of fast-growing technology firm UKFast is celebrating a record awards season that he says is thanks to an unwavering commitment to customer service.
The hosting company is marking its twelfth year in business by reaching the final stages of a number of regional and national competitions, cementing its position as a significant player in the technology industry.
The 12-year-old firm has experienced phenomenal growth in the last two years, seeing a record-breaking first half to 2011 leading to a growth in sales of over 70 per cent in August.
As the 130-strong team celebrates National Customer Service Week by setting challenges for account managers to speak to record numbers of clients each day and surprising clients with chocolates and flowers, Lawrence Jones, UKFast's founder and MD said: "We started this business because we were disappointed with the service that existed in the hosting industry. People were expected to pay for internet hosting and be thankful for whatever they got. We believe service is about making a difference to people's lives and we invest more into improving it because we believe you can always do better and going the extra mile with service pays off.
"We try to celebrate customer service all year round but having an extra push during Customer Service Week is a great way to refresh our approach and mark the team's achievements as a friendly and customer-focused gang of people."
UKFast has been announced as a finalist in two categories at this year's National Business Awards. The company is shortlisted for the Croner Employer of the Year while Jones is up for the main prize in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.
The company has also reached the finals in the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards, being shortlisted in the Employer of the Year category.
Jones said: "We are extremely proud to be shortlisted for these awards - especially those that recognise our efforts in providing a great place for our team to work. Our people are our most valuable asset and we'll do whatever we can to inspire them because if their passion and excitement is nurtured, our clients will feel the benefits."
On a regional level, UKFast has also been recognised in EN Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Lawrence Jones is shortlisted for 2011's North West Entrepreneur of the Year, following in the footsteps of some of the region's finest business minds including Bruntwood's Chris Oglesby and Tony Wilson of Klarius. Jones, who won the Technology Entrepreneur of the Year award at the EN Awards in 2010, will find out if he's a winner at a ceremony in October.
September also saw the company named as the fastest-growing internet service provider outside of London.
The hosting specialist has been ranked for the third year running in the Sunday Times Tech Track. The list ranks the 100 fastest-growing privately-owned technology, media and telecoms businesses in the country.
Jones said: "It is great to see more businesses from the North West in the list; there are eight North West companies featured this year, whereas last year there were only six."
Among the eight companies from the region, UKFast is the only internet service provider and ranks as the fourth fastest-growing company, showing sales growth of 45 per cent between 2007 and 2010.
Jones concluded: "I am very proud that UKFast is in the Tech Track list despite never taking venture capital funding or borrowing money at crucial stages and we are still managing to turn a profit every year. A focus on customer service has got us this far and we'll continue with it at our core."
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