|Marketing and market research consultancy Customer Interpreter Ltd was set up in 2002 to bridge gaps between organisations and their customers. In this year’s BiTC Percent Club awards they have shown that it is also possible for small businesses to bridge the gap between work and community.Customer Interpreter’s contribution ranked 9th in percentage terms among all the UK businesses qualifying for the awards, described by Murray Armstrong in yesterday’s Guardian as “a towering 10.2% of pre-tax profits”. This is split between cash donations – mainly to Womankind Worldwide, and allowing staff time to work on community projects.”
Maggie Baxter, director of Womankind Worldwide is enthusiastic about the role of the Percent club in bringing business closer to not for profit activities, “We are delighted with the ongoing support from Catherine and Customer Interpreter. Our work involves helping women to get organised and to come together, often for the first time, to talk about what they want to change. We then help them achieve it.”
Founder and director Catherine Shovlin explained, “Often when businesses under-perform it is because connections have broken down. These may be between management and staff; often it is because decision makers are no longer close to the customer. We see close parallels in communities and are keen to use our skills to help where we can.”
Fast decision making is an advantage of small businesses. Customer Interpreter is also carbon neutral – it offsets its carbon emissions through tree planting. Catherine told us about the benefits of small business, “It is great to be able to get the whole team around the table and agree to do the right thing in a matter of minutes. We can usually implement policy the same day. We apply the same approach to the way we work for our clients”.