Here are some of our recent The Money Awards winners . . . why not enter now to stand a chance of joining this prestigious list of individuals and businesses who stand out from the rest?
Best Online Broker – Winner = Carfinance247.co.uk
The Judging Panel commented: “Carfinance247 provide quick and easy access to car loan finance via a number of different channels – Phone, Email, Internet and Mobile – and each method is dealt with in the same robust and efficient way.
“They have developed a business that meets the unique needs of today’s time and cash-strapped consumer by providing a quick, personalised service for people looking for cheap car finance.
“A consumer can get approved for finance fast, based on their own particular financial circumstances. Having an approval for finance in place first allows the consumer to buy a car on their own terms, with the opportunity to negotiate their own deal as a cash buyer.
“This empowers them to choose a car that meets their budget – and not the other way around. This also may help prevent problems further down the line with affordability”.
The Panel also commended Carfinance247 for their commitment to heavy investment in Fin-Tech (thereby making the customer journey as seamless as possible); Offering a wide choice of products to suit just about every person’s unique financial needs; Building strong, long standing relationships with its lenders, so that customers can often benefit from special deals not available elsewhere; and dedication to staff training and reward programmes to keep staff motivated and happy
Best Broker – Winner = Foenix Partners
Our Judges thought Foenix Partners deserved the award for Best Broker. While there are a number of larger organisations in this category including global banks, Foenix Partners demonstrated that being smaller allowed them to be flexible and offer clients a bespoke service, which also delivered cost effectiveness.
They also simplified a product down to its basics – get the best rate possible for the client. Their application and case studies certainly showed the panel that they have that covered.
Best Insurance Brand – Winner = Protect your bubble
There was only one clear winner in the Best Insurance Brand category, Protect your bubble a winner from previous years’ had re-entered in this period and they have really evolved the brand to becoming the household name and market leader for gadget insurance both in the UK and more recently the US.
Since 2008, they have grown the market by selling a million gadget insurance policies. While other verticals have seen the “first to market” surpassed, the Protect your bubble brand has kept the company at the forefront of a growingly competitive market.
Customer Service Excellence Award – Winner = Protect your bubble
It was a closely fought category as lots of businesses submitted entries in the customer service award as there has been a growing interest of companies highlighting how well they treat their customers.
In the case of Protect your bubble, the Judges felt the use of processes at every stage of the customer lifecycle meant that Protect your bubble were able to ensure a customer experience that was transparent and open for all to scrutinize. The panel also liked the committee process, which met regardless and tried to find issues each and every month. The Judges felt they had to reward such proactiveness.
Consumer Champion – Winner = SquareTrade
In the Consumer Champion category, SquareTrade highlighted their resolve of truly putting the customer first. The Judging panel thought the work carried out by SquareTrade, especially in the warranty industry, which traditionally has a poor reputation, was excellent.
50,000 five star reviews says a huge amount for a company that certainly puts the customer at the heart of the business. The case studies and positive sentiment generated by the company made them really easy to choose as the Consumer Champion.
Best Money Brand
The Interface Financial Group, while still in its relative infancy in the UK, has a 40 year history, with operations in The Unites States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and most recently The Republic of Ireland and The U.K.
IFG provides growth financing and working capital through the purchase of specific individual invoices from their client businesses, a process known as invoice discounting and spot factoring. This action dramatically speeds up cash flow for IFG’s client businesses and enables them to gear up for exponential growth.
The Judges saw a real benefit in the service offered by IFG – particularly in these tough economic times when more traditional funders are not ‘open’ for business. The current economic climate is responsible for many small businesses going under due to cash flow issues. The unique delivery method of the service, via a franchise network, is another positive feature of the service, allowing clients to be serviced in a very timely manner. Also, the fact that clients only need to access the service when needed gives them flexibility and creates a bespoke alternative funding solution on demand. The Judges also commented that it was refreshing to see ‘something new’ in terms of a funding approach for small and medium sized enterprises.
Thank you very much for recognising me as a winner in The Money Awards. Winning awards is very important to me because it provides independent confirmation that I am doing good work. It is also important from a financial perspective because being a multi award winning business helps to attract more customers, leads to greater profit and can add £millions to the price when ones business is sold.
Sara-Ann Burgess, Director, Burgesses Limited
Best Caravan Insurance Comparison Website
George McGonigal set up Caravanquoter.co.uk in 2006, when he realised there was a niche in the marketplace for a caravan insurance comparison website. Within five years, the site has gone from a lightbulb moment to a major player, with all of the key caravan insurers now featuring on the site. Caravanquoter’s clean design and ease of use were two of the reasons that our judges thought the site stood out. George says: “As a current winner, having this Award has not only given the site even more credibility, but gives our customers the added comfort of using a recognised service.”
Customer Service Excellence
SquareTrade is a 5-star rated warranty company, available to Amazon, eBay, Tesco and Asda customers so far in the UK.
SquareTrade’s extended warranties have flipped the poorly-regarded industry on its head by making it easy to claim and moving the service online to give the industry a much-needed update. They have a customer insights team to make sure they can keep improving the service and positively encourage customers to leave reviews so you can make your own mind up. Extended warranty customers deserve value and top notch customer service like every other industry and that was rarely the case and things needed to change.
The Judges were impressed by SquareTrade’s real commitment to Customer Service, commenting: “SquareTrade offer more than just a call centre ethos – they truly listen to their customers and help them on a one-to-one basis, rather than using scripts. We applaud the specialist “Insights” team who collect feedback from customers on service improvement. SquareTrade’s support team are encouraged to be flexible, make decisions, and solve problems from a customer’s perspective. We see this as a refreshing approach, offering true customer service”.
Best Niche Aggregator
Moneymaxim.co.uk launched two niche aggregator products in 2010 – car hire insurance and gadget insurance (comparing insurance rates for mobile phones, laptops, iPads and 20 other items of technology). Lauded widely in the National Press and on TV, the services are designed to help customers find cheaper alternatives to tied insurance products sold at the point of sale, which may typically be both expensive, and in some cases may offer lower levels of cover than independently purchased products. Mark Bower, Founder and Managing Director of Moneymaxim said “This award is really the icing on the cake coming on the back of exceptional customer and press feedback and has brought a real feeling of pride to everyone involved in building and growing moneymaxim”.
Best Start Up
Our Judges were impressed how online lifestyle insurance providers Protect your bubble have gone from a start up to a household name in less than three years. Since launch, Protect your bubble (PYB) have grown exponentially, with a recognised brand name and a year on year growth of 100%. PYB demonstrated to the Judges how they have tried, tested and successfully used a diverse combination of online marketing methods from viral videos to an affiliate programme to TV advertising get the brand out there.
The Judges also commented on how PYB have always listened to their customers, acting on feedback, and constantly improving their service, products and product range.
PYB’s value for money products have continuously been featured in the highly prestigious Which? Best Buy Tables for both Pet Insurance and Travel Insurance. Our Judging panel said: “With great products, a comprehensive marketing landscape, and a commitment and devotion of their team, no wonder that within less than three years they have become a household name and a major player within their industry. PYB are well-deserved winners of this award.”
Best Use Of Social Media
Protect your bubble demonstrated to the Judges how they have really have maximised their use of social media to not only promote name and brand awareness, but to provide marketing communications as well as help their customers by using these vehicles as a support / help desk.
Their clever use of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube means that all the Protect your bubble (PYB) social media channels are growing organically with their Facebook presence in particular having grown to meet what Protect your bubble customers want, rather than the other way around. For example, customers often post on Facebook asking for help in the evening and weekends, and a member of the PYB team will come back to them.
The Judges recognised PYB’s commitment to their use of social media and were impressed how, unlike some other companies who simply have an online presence but don’t really maximise the use of it, Protect your bubble really understands the world of social media marketing, using a unique blend of methods to not only keep existing customers happy, but to capture potential client’s imaginations.
Our Judges commented: “Protect your bubble go above and beyond what most insurance companies do, providing personal, 24/7 support via their social media channels and they seize opportunities, with research and development being pivotal to their success. They really stood out, which makes them natural winners of this award”.
Best Landlord Insurer
The Judges selected Cover4Letproperty.co.uk as the best landlords insurance provider as everything they offer – from their product range with its many complimentary features and benefits; to their easy quote and buying online process; to the personal, bespoke service each dedicated account handler provides – is designed to provide a great value product backed by an exceptional service.
With roots that go back to 1946, Cover4Letproperty specialises in landlord insurance, offering online and telephone based quotations from six leading insurance companies. Their policies typically offer above-the-norm levels of cover and they do not exclude perils or risks that a landlord should expect to find as part of his standard policy. E.g. malicious damage by tenants, subsidence etc.
However, what really separates Cover4Letproperty from their competition is their exceptional levels of customer service, with a dedicated account handler being assigned at the point of quotation and throughout the whole life of the policy, meaning a truly personal service.
The Judges were also impressed by Cover4Letproperty’s policy documentation which is clear and concise and the particular attention paid to an individual’s needs and requirements of their customers. The Directors of the Company work day to day in the business and are easily contactable, again highlighting how the company offers a personal touch.
Richard Burgess from the company says: “Winning this award is real endorsement of what we do and we feel that it will further enhance trust with our clients. We always strive to offer the very best service and products that we can and to be rewarded in this way validates our ethos.”
Best Loans Start Up
Starting up a secured loans business – particularly in the middle of an economic crisis – may seem like a recipe for disaster. However, the Judges were impressed by how Willows Finance has grown exponentially in just a few short years to become a well-respected, customer-focused and, above all – successful loans service – despite tight lending restrictions from the major lenders. Jamie Millan, founder of the site and now one of our Judges, says: “Receiving this award is a great thing as it shows the business is on the right track. It is good to know that our hard work is appreciated – not only by our growing customer base, but also with awards like this.”