The family firm, which has eight branches in Hertfordshire and owns and runs Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens in Stevenage, picked up the Excellence in Customer Service award, Medium to Large Business of the Year award, and the prestigious overall Business of the Year award at the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards.
Organised by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the awards are designed “to celebrate success and achievement and boost business confidence in Hertfordshire,” and attracted a huge number of entries. Over 300 people attended the gala presentation evening, which was held at the Porsche Centre in Hatfield.
Claire Austin, the 10th generation of her family to run Austin’s, said: “I was absolutely thrilled to win these awards. Customer service is our number one priority so to have our hard work recognised officially is great. To then go on and win the other two awards, including overall Business of the Year, is amazing. All three are testament to the hard work and commitment of every single member of staff at Austin’s and I’m incredibly proud of their achievements.”
Presenting the Business of the Year award to Claire, who was also a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, the judges commented: “In an outstanding field, our winner tonight demonstrated all of the qualities one would wish to see in a successful company. Over a 10 year period it has increased turnover on a consistent basis, delivering impressive growth in its profits. It has achieved this by delivering upon a clear and imaginative growth strategy, which has been driven by its management and supported by its staff. Austin’s Funeral Service is not only outstanding within its own sector but is an exemplar for all business.”
As overall winner, Austin’s also received £7,500-worth of integrated marketing support from Royston-based Kiss Communications.