Past Insurance Times Awards Customer Champion of the Year - Broker winner says he has no plans to take his foot off the gas

Insurance Times Awards Derek Coles

With only a month left to get your entries in to the 2016 Insurance Times Awards, we speak to inspiring past winners about their win, top tips on submitting entries and industry experiences.

Here Ryan Direct Group (RDG) chief executive Derek Coles talks about winning the Customer Champion of the Year - Broker award

What do you think made you a winner in this category?

The presentation to judges makes a huge difference as it is hard to illustrate a passion for your subject in a written submission. We won because our ’Think Customer’ initiative was a proven success and we really cared about it. This wasn’t a box-ticking exercise but a fundamental change in the way we do business. This has subsequently been validated by the business being awarded an exceptional rating by the IIC.

What are the opportunities or challenges you see going forward?

Sustaining excellence in the way we operate is key. It’s easy to become complacent after winning such a prestigious award, but that is not the ‘Direct way’. We want to bring further improvements to the way we work, whether or not we win awards.

What has winning the award meant for your team?

A massive morale boost. The whole company put a huge amount of effort into ‘Think Customer’, and we were thrilled to win it and it takes pride of place in our reception area. The award helped push Ryan Direct Group to the forefront of our industry and showed that companies like ourselves can compete effectively against the best.

What are your future plans?

The current insurance market is hugely competitive, and many insurers and brokers are finding it hard to grow. At RDG we continue to stay focused on our overall aim, which is organic growth through a customer focused distribution strategy, supplemented with strategic acquisitions.

Are industry awards important?

Not all industry awards are important, but some are definitely more important than others, and from our experience in the market the Insurance Times awards are ones you really want to win. Having been a slow starter in putting forward entries, we now have a taste for success and a better understanding of what winning means to our staff and the market; therefore we will be entering this year’s awards for a number of different categories.

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