THE 2015 CUSTOMER Service Champions have been selected, and the nine winners were recognized for “Outrageous Customer Service” on Oct. 20 at the Emerald Isle Beach & Pool Club.
The Carteret County Chamber of Commerce started the practice of honoring representatives of local businesses and organizations who excel in customer service in 2004, and this event has grown in significance every year, said 2015 Board Chair Kerry Youngblood, president of Carteret Community College.
“By sharing these success stories, we hope to raise the bar for excellence, and according to Mary Duane Hale of Atlantic Beach Realty, it is working,” Dr. Youngblood said.
“The Crystal Coast is certainly one of the premier vacation destinations where guests are treated exceptionally well,” she commented.
Dr. Youngblood remarked: “A common trait for all our winners is that they go beyond what is required … and they are dependable, reliable, passionate and invaluable to their businesses or organizations.”
Hale was one of the winners; she was nominated by two of her vacation home rental customers. Carolyn Willard, a second home owner from Greensboro, said she has been renting her home through Atlantic Beach Realty for more than 10 years now and the company has met and exceeded all of her expectations.
“I depend a great deal on Atlantic Beach Realty, Mary Duane and her wonderful staff. I truly value and appreciate their assistance … and that’s Outrageous Customer Service in the best sense of the phrase,” Carolyn Willard said.
Layne Helwig of First Citizens Bank in Atlantic Beach was nominated for Outrageous Customer Service by customer Stewart Pickett, mayor of Indian Beach, and by branch manager Christina Fulcher.
Mayor Pickett says that if you go to the dictionary and look up “customer service,” you will see a picture of Layne Helwig.”
Christina Fulcher says: “Layne stands out as a leader, quick to offer guidance and empathy. Layne is committed to finding the best solution for her customers, so they get the most from their banking relationship. She makes it a point to do everything right the first time, and it is her goal to ensure that each customer leaves the branch happy. She never fails to put a smile on the customer’s face.”
Two of the Outrageous Customer Service winners work in Cape Carteret – Shawn Cherry of SFI Group and Angel Hopkins of Realo Discount Drugs.
“Shawn has a knack for turning customers into friends … and friends into customers,” observed Mary Carlyle Brown of Pine Knoll Shores, who presented the award. “Angel knows all of her customers’ names … and she remembers the personal stories they share with her and will ask weeks later how things turned out,” said co-worker Melissa Daly. “She is the best advocate a customer could hope for.”
Other award winners were: Denise Askew of Carteret Community College; Bo Brinson of Brinson Custom Carpentry; Dot Brock of First Citizens Bank in Beaufort; Kim Guyton of the Carteret County Public School System; and Lisa Rueh of Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association.
The chamber thanks its partners who help sponsor the awards program – Carteret Community College, Emerald Isle Beach & Pool Club and NCCOAST (parent company and publisher of the Island Review).
Mike Wagoner, President
Carteret County Chamber of Commerce