Released on 09 August 2012
A contact centre team member at Surrey Heath Borough Council has been awarded the Tower Award for Outstanding Customer Service.
Ellie Hawkins, who has been with Surrey Heath Borough Council since 2007, was awarded the prize by Surrey County Councillor Lavinia Sealy after being nominated by a member of the public. The Tower Award is an award presented to a member of staff who has exceeded expectations and delivered excellent customer service.
A visibly shocked and delighted Ellie received a certificate and bouquet of flowers in front of her colleagues and team leaders. She was also presented with a commemorative badge given only to those who strive for excellence in customer service.
Ellie said: "I knew I had been nominated for The Tower Award as I was notified earlier on in the year. The award presentation was a complete surprise. The kind words from Mr Indra Gurung were amazing and it was a pleasure to deal with such a gentleman. Everyone in my team work together and support each other to deliver a very high standard of customer service and any one of them could have won this. It is lovely to get such recognition and I would like to thank everyone involved."
The Tower Award is decided by a panel of judges who care about great customer service including previous winners, members of the public, councillors and team managers.
Councillor Lavinia Sealy who presented the award said: "I particularly like the name Tower Award. The name comes from Leith Hill which is the highest point in Surrey and this award represents the pinnacle of achievement. Well done Ellie." The award was kept under wraps for weeks while colleagues planned the small presentation ceremony.
Nominating Ellie was Indra Kumar Gurung, a serving Ghurkha solider who bought a property in the borough in November 2011, who wrote:
"I am a Ghurkha solider, currently serving in Brunei. As I am geographically far away I have to deal with Estate Agents, Solicitors, Gas, Electricity and Banks on emails and phones. Eventually I had to deal with the county council staff for schooling for my children and council tax. She (Ellie Hawkins) did it very professionally among the number of people I have come across. She tops among the rest in providing quality of service without knowing me with my little knowledge in English. Her explanations were very crystal clear."
For more information on the Tower Award and how you can nominate someone, search online for Tower Award Surrey.