Tonight the national “Museums + Heritage Awards” are taking place in London. Last year Rayleigh Windmill won the award for Best Customer Service. Sophie Manus, Leisure and Community Safety Assistant at Rochford District Council, talks about the experience:
“When I was asked to put Rayleigh Windmill forward for the Museums + Heritage Awards 2014, we were all very dubious as to how much chance we actually stood in these National awards, up against big names such as The V&A. But it was agreed that entering would be a positive and proactive thing to do, even though the Windmill is just a small museum in Rayleigh.
We decided to enter under the Best Customer Service category, and so I went about pulling together information and images that showed the lengths our dedicated volunteers go to, to deliver the very best customer service. This process in itself was very rewarding, taking the time to put into words how hard the volunteers work and how much time they give to the Windmill. I found myself becoming quite passionate about really putting in the best application I could, to do justice to our fantastic volunteers.
Finding out we had been shortlisted was incredibly exciting and being able to pass the news on to the volunteers was wonderful. You can only imagine their reactions when we found out we had won! A small museum in Rayleigh had won a National award for Customer Service – who would have thought it! And what a wonderful way to say thank you to the volunteers. They are so proud of their award, it’s now on display as you enter the Windmill.
Of course, the publicity we received was also fantastic and being able to say we have won this award gives so much credibility to the attraction and museum. It has also motivated the volunteers even more to continue to strive to deliver the best customer service and best visitor experience they can.
I would really encourage any museum to enter. I think we are proof that it’s not just the ‘big players’ that win the awards, each application is considered equally and anyone can win!
Please visit our website to find out more about Rayleigh Windmill www.rochford.gov.uk/windmill“