Winners of the Calne Retailer of the Year Award 2018

Meet Calne’s Retailer of the Year 2018

On Friday 9th November 2018 at the Mayoral Ball, 1st Choice Stairlifts were officially crowned as Calne’s Retailer of the Year for Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.

Mayor Glenis Ansell invited businesses throughout the town to enter the competition for Retailer of the Year for the Town Centre, Retailer of the Year for Porte Marsh Industrial Estate, Best New Business and Best Window Display for Calne Shopping Week.

The awards were given out at the Mayoral Ball held at Calne Town Hall which was well attended by many local business people, as well as members of the public and council.

Husband and wife team, owners and Joint Directors of 1st Choice Stairlifts, Colin Major and Coral Affleck-Major were presented with the trophy from the Mayor.

Coral Affleck-Major said “We were absolutely thrilled when we found out that we had won Calne’s Retailer of the Year Award.  I entered the competition and had to write in the entry a bit about us, our customer service, staff development and community involvement and we were judged alongside other candidates for this.  We were especially delighted that Glenis happened to mention in her speech that she loved us, so it was quite an easy decision to make us her first choice for the award.  The last time Glenis was Mayor of Calne she attended our Grand Opening Ceremony of our new premises in 2011, so it was particularly special that she gave us the award.

We and all the team are incredibly proud that we have won and have been recognised as delivering great service, developing our team and supporting our community.”

We’re happy to share our winning competition entry with you here:

Retailer of the Year – Our Entry Form

Background Information

1st Choice Stairlifts was set up in 2004 in Calne by husband and wife team Coral & Colin Major who together have over 50 years of stairlift industry experience.  Having worked for the big manufacturers we decided to go out on our own to give a more local personalised service to the people of Wiltshire and surrounding counties.  1st Choice Stairlifts will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary in February 2019 and we employ 15 people from our office on Porte Marsh Estate in Calne.  We won the very first Calne New Business Competition back in 2004 and went on to win the North Wiltshire Final New Business competition and 15 years later we’re still going from strength to strength.

Why we do what we do

We are passionate about keeping people in their own homes, living independently for longer and more importantly helping people to stay safe on the stairs.  The most serious falls in the home happen on the stairs in the over 65’s and have a high fatality rate.  If someone’s mobility is impaired they are at increased risk on the stairs.  Installing a lift not only makes the stairs a safer place but also statistically can reduce the need to go into a care home by 4-7 years.  So what we do does make such a difference to peoples lives and we are happy to help people live independently in the home they love.

What makes us different is that we do a wide range of lifts to suit most people and their stairs (even spiral stairs!) and the way we care for our customers throughout the process of assessment, installation and aftercare.  We pride ourselves on the aftercare service we provide to our customers.  If a customer ever has a problem with a lift then we operate a round the clock, 365 days a year emergency service and get out to customers quickly as a priority when they need us.  The best service we provided was to a local customer where we got the engineer to their house knocking on the door just as they put the phone down to our office to report a problem – now that’s service!

5* Customer Service

We educate and train our staff to aim for 5* (the very best) service we can provide to customers.  In line with our ISO9001 quality management accreditation we also gain feedback from customers through satisfaction surveys.  We always receive fantastic reviews and publish them on our website – just check out our Testimonials page at 1stchoicestairlifts.com.  To further enhance our customers experience we have just also been endorsed as a Which Trusted Trader, having undergone stringent checks to become approved.

Staff Development

We train our engineers through on the job training, manufacturers training and have also paid for them to undertake NVQ qualifications on stairlifts.  All staff are provided with regular training and customer service training. We have first aid trained staff as appointed persons and all staff have undertaken a first aid qualification recently.  Sometimes when our engineers are on site they may come across a customer who may be in need of attention.  A Calne customer had fallen just before our engineer had arrived at their home to look at their lift.  He wasn’t convinced that the customer was okay so telephoned the Doctor and the family.  Had he not gone the extra mile the customers injury may have gone unnoticed, but instead she got the treatment she needed and her family were alerted.

Being Educational

Over the last 15 years we have held free training seminars for 100’s of healthcare professionals to educate them on getting the best stairlift and how assessments are done to ensure the right product is fitted for their clients.

We have also recently produced a free educational leaflet for the Over 65’s on how to prevent falls on the stairs to help reduce risk and injury in the home which is available in hard copy and on our website.

We have also introduced a Free Resources page on our website with free expert advice for anyone that may be interested in a lift for their home, irrespective of where in the country (or world for that matter!) that they are from, giving impartial expert advice to make sure as a consumer they are protected and educated on their purchase no matter who they buy from.

Supporting Charities

We love to support local events and charities as well as national charities.  National Charities we help on a regular basis are Brain Tumour Research and MacMillan Cancer.

Locally this year locally we have supported the Scarecrow trails at Derry Hill, Heddington and Hilmarton, as well as the Calne Duck Race.  We have also sponsored/purchased the school football kit for Derry Hill school.

Each Christmas we do something for local charities.  This year we are taking part in the Calne Community Christmas Project where the company and our staff are donating food for the elderly to make up hampers which are being distributed across Calne.  We are also acting as a drop off point for the collection.  Last year we made staff and company donations to the foodbank in Calne and the previous year we donated and were a collection point for presents to be distributed to young people in care.

You can find out more about Calne Town Council here.

You can find out more about us here.

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