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Every little thing he does is magic


May 15, 2017
Two members of staff at intu Eldon Square have gone above and beyond in the call of duty and have been rewarded gifts worth up to £1,000 for their efforts.
Eric Brown, from customer services, and Damien Tennet, who works in the security team, were both nominated for intu’s staff reward and recognition programme ‘Win Your Dream’ with the potential to win a dream prize of £10,000.
‘Win Your Dream’ was set up to recognise and reward individuals who have gone the extra mile to enhance the shopping and leisure experience for customers.
Staff from intu shopping centres nationwide nominate fellow colleagues for delivering world class service, adding moments of surprise and delight, coming up with new ideas and giving back to the community.
Each monthly winner from every centre receives a golden envelope including a £25 intu Gift Card as a token of recognition. Each quarter the monthly winners are reviewed and the most exceptional nominations are selected as quarterly winners, receiving gifts of their choice to the value of £1,000. At the end of the year, the quarterly winners are put forward for the bumper prize of a life-time – the chance to win their dream up to the value of £10,000.
Customer Service assistant  Eric Brown, 63, a dad of three from Wallsend, has only been a member of staff at intu Eldon Square for six months but has made a big impact in a short time. All front of house teams attend a number of  customer service training courses with the aim of enhancing customers’ experiences. Part of the course is about learning new fun entertaining skills. Eric became particularly accomplished at magic tricks and for bringing random moments of joy to the shopping centre.
Eric utilises his newly taught skills including magic tricks and balloon modelling to enrich shoppers’ experiences with fun moments of clown trickery. Eric has resourcefully used his skills to diffuse potentially difficult situations. On one particular occasion, when a group of young boys were being rather boisterous within the centre, Eric entertaining them with card tricks acted as a clever distraction. This positive approach resulted in smiles all round, and a trail of happy customers in his path.
The shopping centre has received enthusiastic feedback about Eric from shoppers via social media, further highlighting Eric’s excellent customer service, and he has even received a box of chocolates as a thank you from a particularly happy customer, who lost her phone in a taxi. The phone alarm acted as a reminder that the elderly shopper, Becky, needed to take her medication. Eric accompanied the distraught elderly female to the customer services desk, contacted the taxi company and arranged for them to bring the phone back to the centre for her. Eric’s approach to his role really is an example of world class service and demonstrates how in such a relatively short period of time, Eric has embraced the culture of intu.
Eric said:
‘I am completely taken aback and very happy! I cannot believe this has happened, being rewarded for being myself. I’m humbled by the fantastic comments from my work colleagues. I’ve chosen to spend my £1,000 on a camping package, and if I was lucky enough to win 10k I would take my family on holiday to Mexico to see my son who now lives there.”
Security team member Damien Tennet, 25, from Newcastle, has been with intu Eldon Square for eighteen months. Part of Damien’s responsibilities is to provide first aid support to all retail units who request assistance; to help ensure a safe environment for all customers, staff and retailers.
On one particular occasion, whilst attending a first aid call at Eldon Leisure to treat an injured customer’s knee, Damien made a diversion to access ice from  Giraffe, one of intu Eldon Square’s new restaurants. He was immediately pounced upon by a panic stricken young boy whose mother was choking on a piece of food.  Damien instinctively performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on the female which dislodged the food and prevented her from choking.
Damien’s fast reactions in dealing with two first aid incidents simultaneously, and confidence in performing the Heimlich manoeuvre, prevented what could have been a serious medical emergency – much to the appreciation of the both the restaurant and the customer!
Damien commented:
“I’m overwhelmed that I’ve won the quarterly award, I didn’t do it for publicity but it’s nice to have been recognised for doing something like that.  If I won the 10K grand prize I would like a new car!”
Phil Steele, general manager at intu Eldon Square, said:
“Win Your Dream is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the great things people across the company are accomplishing every day. It’s about driving excellence in all aspects of our business and recognising where someone has done something to make a positive impact on our customers and fellow colleagues.
“intu prides itself on delivering World Class Service and accreditation from ServiceMark, a recognised national standard in customer service excellence, demonstrates our dedication to ensuring that all aspects of the business reflect this brand promise. In addition, we have recently received an Investors in People Gold Award, confirming that intu is amongst the very best in the world when it comes to people management, and harnessing the talent of our people in order to achieve our organisation’s goals.
“We’re delighted that Eric and Damien have both been successful in the quarterly prize-winning; to have two winners from the same centre is quite exceptional, but I’m not surprised that two members of staff from intu Eldon Square have both shown this level of excellence in their work – they’re the best!”

By Emily