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Do awards matter?
In our latest newsletter, I pondered the value of industry awards. In case you missed it, I wrote:
It seems that each week, we get more releases about materials handling companies getting awards. If its not suppliers patting their dealers on the back, its awards from local business communities, environmental groups, design organisations, government export promotion bodies or charity institutions.
Awards, it appears, are one of the fastest-growing industry sectors, fuelled by vanity and the need for approval.
One has to wonder whether the plethora of accolades actually means all that much in a tough business environment. Without taking anything away from the winners, we have to speculate that theres only really one award that counts customer loyalty. If you cant meet customer needs and retain their business, the gleaming trophies and glossy certificates will do little to appease your creditors.

Well, already, one reader has responded, saying:
I do agree that without good customer service nothing matters. I don't really think that the award matters. What really matters is if you are doing what it takes to keep your customer and get new customers. I always take pride in making my customers happy so they keep coming back. It is great if they choose to call our office to say thank you for a job well done. That goes a lot further than an award does as far as I am concerned, because they recognize that you are there to work for them and be sure that they are a happy customer when you leave or get off the phone with them. That is repeat business and that is what it is all about. Keep them coming back.

What do you think?

The editor
  • Posted 25 Oct 2013 02:03 PM
  • • Modified 25 Oct 2013 02:15 PM by administrator
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
I think awards are a good marketing gimmick. All things being equal- if 2 salesmen are trying to get in the door of a prospective customer, it may sway the odds in their favor if company A has some awards in the field of their expertise.

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 26 Oct 2013 11:59 PM
I would agree they are a marketing tool but much can depend on the award itself. If it is self-congratulatory say for being the top dealer amongst a group of dealers it really means nothing to anyone outside of that group.

If however, it is a public recognition of where a real difference has been made, then that carries a lot more weight.

Equally, the body and method that makes the award should carry some weight. In the UK there are the FLTA awards where the public vote and the highest wins. This is better than a bunch of cronies sitting in a room and dishing out awards to their pals.

All in all however - it is just another spin on PR
  • Posted 27 Oct 2013 12:51 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
this could get rather philosophical...
the question may really boil down to; "does perception equal reality".

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 27 Oct 2013 10:57 PM
  • BobbyT
  • Wilts, United Kingdom
  • Posted 28 Oct 2013 03:30 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
sorry, I had started to write a long post about dealer award's by manufacturers/factories that I am aware of, that often have a lot of very careful measured metrics, some that might surprise the average 'hands on the wrench' dealer employee, used in making the determination as to which dealers earn the recognition (length of time average% of w/o open, % of w/o over 15 days among a lot of others, each giving a % of points toward the final goals).
Then I got to considering how there is a current perception among some 'status groups' [on this side of the pond, at least] that expect an award for their children for everyone that signs up, regardless of who participates.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 28 Oct 2013 08:12 PM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
My personal perception of such awards is that they are like trophies for a show car. They make the entity more valuable upon a sale.

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 12:05 AM
In general, I agree with Misterlift.
But few remarks basing upon my experience.

Some customers, pretty often the big corporations, care about some of the awards, because of the safety or environmental attitude standards.
Personally, I participated in some tenders, where Linde or Doosan won the big deal because they presented the FLTA award for safety.

The awards for environmental issues are sometimes significant too.
For example, the companies, where Kaplan's Six Perspectives Balance Scorecard is used as a management tool, very often care about this side of deal. One of the perspectives is environmental friendliness, where you have to gather some points to be positively evaluated. That's why the rewarded fuel cell solutions or noise/vibration improvements are treated as a serious advantage.
In these cases, the reward (of course meaningfull, kind of an Oscar in truck industry) really matters.

I know your deepest secret fear...
  • Posted 29 Oct 2013 12:14 AM
  • • Modified 29 Oct 2013 12:31 AM by poster
  • swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
i think from a customers point of view they really dont care if a dealer has an award or not...
the customer wants good service period no matter what awards the dealership has or doesnt have.
sure the awards look nice and are basically eyecandy for the customer but all in all it doesnt mean a thing to the customer in the end.
The company i work for the goal is to become the #1 dealership , but then again isnt that every dealerships goal? Do they get any special considerations from the mfg when they get such high ratings? i dont know but one would think they might. ;)
The high truck and parts sales might just make a difference between the mfg and the dealership but from the customers point of view they could give a rats **** about it as long as they are getting good service.
if they get bad service you can bet the customer will boot their butts and find someone that will satisfy thier needs even if it is a 'not as recognised' dealership.
Sometimes the dealership can get so caught up in thier quest to be the top performing dealer that it looses something in the process and even though the numbers might deem them a high performing dealer thier 'actual service' is not as 'up to par' as the figures reflect.
which brings me to this analogy...
What shows on paper isn't necessarily as accurate as it appears to be ;)
what is said here is just my point of view and i'm sure is very debatable, not everyone here will agree with it :)

You've been swooped!
  • Posted 2 Nov 2013 10:27 PM
Accolades help a new customer trust an organization. Accolades help larger organizations trust a service company is large enough to handle them and has an active health and safety effort. It is good service that keeps customers. It is high quality people actively participating in good working relationships that keeps customers. It is doing what you say you will do that keeps customers. Accolades are very much like discounted labor rates and parts pricing... it opens the door the first time. Doing the right thing is what keeps the door from being slammed in your face!
  • Posted 7 Nov 2013 10:06 PM
  • chris_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Awards are nice for the dealer but the dealer cannot pay the employees with awards. Here's the deal, when everything is done, whether we want to admit it or not, it is about the money! A successful business who treats their customers and employees fairly does not need awards.

The good employer, will tell his employees "hey great job or Thanks" and will compensate them fairly. Companies that are successful have done one thing consistently, they have met the customers requirements and there is where the trust and loyalty is built. The awards are nice and they make business look good but, most of them are based on what I call "dollar performance" hitting a goal, reaching a sales milestone, what ever. I just don't think they matter that much when a customer is buying a product and wants a partner.
  • Posted 7 Nov 2013 11:22 PM
  • Budman
  • Alabama, United States
I agree with Swoop & Chris T. To receive an award from the Manufacturer as a top dealer can also come to be with creative accounting. In other words, "cooking the books". I've seen it done too many times. If upper Management cared as much about their employees and customers as they did about getting these awards, it would be such a better dealership!
  • Posted 22 Nov 2013 03:15 AM
Total replies: 11. Showing items 1 - 11 of 11 results.

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