Businesses encouraged to value the elderly
By Wendy Huston, Kapiti Retirement Trust CEO
Working at putting into reality the concept of an ‘age friendly’ community is something I have been involved in over the past few years.
The work of the Kapiti Older Persons’ Council and initiatives taken by KCDC in forming the Kapiti Age-Friendly Steering Group some years ago have all seen various steps forward in making this concept a reality.
One exciting development out of the steering group was the introduction of an ‘Age Friendly’ category in the Customer Awards in the annual Electra Business Awards.
These awards are well known in Kapiti/Horowhenua and are the premier event for businesses to show who they are and what they do. They recognise business excellence and help grow individual businesses locally.
The assessment process businesses have to submit to when they enter is extremely robust and challenging and is based on business excellence principles. Businesses that win a category know that the results are well deserved.
It takes a lot of effort to win a new customer, but equally, it takes a lot of effort to keep that customer coming back.
As such, an important component of the Awards are the Business Customer Choice Awards. There are two categories businesses can enter – Retail and Service and then all businesses who enter are automatically entered into the third category, that of being Age Friendly.
Public votes count
These awards are customer driven and allow members of the public to vote for their business of choice.
This year, the Age Friendly Category is jointly sponsored by the Kapiti Retirement Trust and the Office for Seniors.
Committing to funding this with the Office for Seniors was not a difficult decision.
The chance to work with the Office for Seniors and publically acknowledge local businesses who have focused on meeting the needs of older members of the public is something that deserves public recognition.
Benefits for all
I am convinced that having a community which is unashamedly age friendly, benefits all of us. Be it building design, easy of access, appropriate layout, good lighting and signage or an excellent experience of personalised customer service; these all contribute to the type of business community we all want to experience.
Nominations for the People’s Choice Awards are now open. If you know of a company which has provided you with excellent customer service, now is the time to get them to register for this category.
For a small nominal amount they will not only get a great package of publicity and media exposure but also the chance for their customers to give positive feedback on what they do well.
There is no entry form for them to complete, the Awards are based on customer feedback. Business have until 31 July to register.
Voting starts soon
Public voting then takes place from 14 August through to 11 September. There are a number of ways clients and customers can vote for their business of choice – online, in-store, by way of newspaper coupons and by hard copy to voting boxes which will be in key public places.
It’s a great way to promote business the way we want it.