Mark Nagra said Nov. 3 was the highlight of his 30-year career in the furniture and mattress business.
M&N Mattress Shop Ltd. in Parksville won the Customer Service Award at the Better Business Bureau’s Vancouver Island Torch Awards Friday, Nov. 3.
“There were other awards for roofing industry, health and wellness or whatever industry, but the Customer Service category was the only award of the night that applied to every industry, every BBB-accredited business,” said Nagra, owner of M&N Mattress Shop. “That was, in my opinion because it applied to everybody, was the award of all awards.”
“Customer service is what it’s all about, and the other businesses won in their (business-specific) categories because of their customer service as well. We just won out of every category.”
The criteria for winning the award or being a finalist, Nagra said, is ethical decision-making (treating staff, customers and suppliers with respect), community involvement (local donations and helping with fundraising), trustworthiness and customer service.
Nagra said being number one for customer service out of all of the industries takes a lot of hard work, adding he and his staff always put themselves in the customer’s shoes.
“What I learned 30 years ago from my old boss was, put yourself in the customer’s shoes, be reasonable, and the rest is easy,” said Nagra, adding he’s stuck to that method over the years.
“I train (the staff) on customer service and if a situation comes up, they’ll know how to handle it next time differently.”
Nagra said it was very nerve-wracking waiting to hear which business won the Customer Service category.
“It’s like the Oscars of the business world,” he said. “We were in the top four, so we didn’t know (what was going to happen). So they called the fourth place, and then they called the third place, and then it’s like ‘Please, don’t call us next’ because that means we weren’t first. It seemed like a really long time until they announced the winner.”
But then it seemed to fly by, said Nagra. He said a few sentences from customer reviews were read, but Nagra said he can’t remember what those reviews said.
Nagra said the company found out a few months ago that M&N Mattress was one of four finalists in the category. He said he tried to find out beforehand if M&N had won, but the results were “top secret.”
At that point, Nagra was already running off the high of his other business, WR Mattress Gallery in White Rock, receiving first place for People’s Pick at the Better Business Bureau’s Mainland BC Awards on June 8.
This isn’t the first award M&N Mattress has received from the Better Business Bureau serving Vancouver Island. Nagra said in 2015, the business won an award for community engagement.
Nagra said he and his wife Neelam, who manages M&N Mattress, opened the Parksville store on Dec. 2, 2000. At the time, Nagra said, he was planning to open a store in Port Alberni, where he was living, when the person leasing his dad’s pool hall left the location.
Nagra said his dad asked if he would use the space, but Nagra said he didn’t want to be driving over the Hump, especially during wintertime.
“But my dad asked me a few more times. I saw that he was a little stressed out and so I talked to my wife, and I said, ‘I need to do this. He’s retired and he’s stressed out.’”
Since opening nearly 17 years ago, M&N Mattress is now in its second and current location at 291 Island Hwy. E.
Nagra said the Parksville Qualicum Beach community has been very good to M&N Mattress over the years.
“They (the customers) are amazing. They’re over the top,” Nagra said.
But Nagra said he also has to thank his team, such as the delivery team, the in-store and sales staff and his wife.
“We’re all on the same page. We just want customers happy. We want them sleeping good and happy, and if they’re not happy, call us and we’ll make them happy,” he said.
At the Torch Awards Nov. 3, X 2 Lewis Modern Home Renovations in Qualicum Beach won in the renovations category and Mid Island Computer Enterprises Ltd. in Nanoose Bay won for technical services.
For a full list of winners, visit www.bbb.org/vancouver-island.