CUSTOMER service is how Angela Larose makes her living - it is her bread and butter.
Personal trainer Ms Larose founded Essential Body, a business specialising in health and fitness, particularly one-on-one training. Her entire business is based around communicating with clients for hours on end, so the importance of customer service rises to another level.
"I do actually think it is (on another level)," Ms Larose said.
"I can't really cope in my work without (good customer service.)"
Essential Body last year won the Westpac Observer Best in Business Award for Health/Fitness.
Given the awards are about recognising quality customer service; it was an award she was delighted to win.
She said the awards were "absolutely" a good way to reward good small and medium businesses.
"I think it's important that businesses get a pat on the back (when they do a good job)," she said.
"It's a lot of hard work."
Ms Larose doesn't market her fitness service like others in the fitness sector. She is less interested in quick-solution boot camps than in enjoyable fitness programs that can be a sustainable part of an ongoing lifestyle.
"When people call, I try to encourage them to come in for a no obligation one-on-one consultation, because (a fitness program) is a very personal thing," she said.
Rather than sending clients into the gym with a one-size-fits-all program, Ms Larose said she preferred to sit down with the client and figure out exactly what they wanted to achieve and how to help them do it.
Best in Business
The Westpac Observer Best in Business Awards were created to recognise businesses that provide our community with great customer service. Nominate your favourite businesses by September 14.