was originally launched in 2008
to find firms from across the UK and Ireland that not only treat their clientele like gold, but have also come up with innovative, creative and brilliant ways of making their patrons love their business. Now in its second year, Customer Kings will also offer a £5,000 cash prize for the overall winner. "The spirit of Customer Kings lies in the fact that while a lot of things might feel like they’re out of control for small businesses in a downturn, the one thing that can really make a difference is the experience that the business offers their customers," says David Critchley, Cisco’s head of Small Medium Enterprise & Commercial. "Twelve months on, that sentiment is still true, so we want to see every business with a claim on the title of being a Customer King entering this year’s search." Winners will be selected from each English region, as well as Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, with two businesses also being selected as highly commended, and each will be profiled in a special supplement in the February edition of Real Business magazine. Additionally, the 2010 contest will feature one winner in a dedicated "commercial" category, recognising the good work done by the bigger firms in the UK and Ireland. "We had some absolutely amazing entries to last year’s competition," says Real Business’ Charles Orton-Jones. "They really set the standard, and we’re all hugely excited to see what Britain and Ireland’s businesses have to tell us this time around. Whether it’s one small but clever change that you’ve made to your business, or a complete, dedicated brand built from scratch that has set your customers’ hearts on fire, we want to hear all about it." To see all of the latest news and profiles on last year’s winners, and to enter Customer Kings 2010, click here
. Entries will close on December 18, 2009. Stop press! Our Customer Kings campaign won the "Marketing Communications: Business" category at last night’s PR Week Awards 2009. Read about it here
. Related articles:Cisco survey shows British SMEs need to work harder on customer serviceAlex Cheatle: "I never guessed how we’d grow"
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