THREE of the HBID members were shortlisted by the judges for the Customer Service Award but the winner has been chosen by the public.

A public vote was held on the Hereford Times website asking people to vote for the business where they received the best customer service.

The finalists are: The Courtyard; Elle Martin Hair Salon and Specsavers Hereford.

The Courtyard Centre for the Arts in Edgar Street is the leading arts provider in Herefordshire and a registered charity.

It has various strands of customer-facing roles: all of which exceed patrons' expectations by providing exceptional customer service.

From knowledgeable and friendly box office staff, to enthusiastic front of house staff, fantastic volunteers and polite and helpful cafe bar staff, they always ensure their most positive, optimistic side is beaming.

They ensure they treat everyone as an individual and their ethos is that no ask is ever too big.

As creative people, they feel this allows them to add extra special touches to their service and they are consistently being recognised for going above and beyond in the pledge to offer the best customer service possible.

Since opening at 38, Church Street in April 2016, Elle Martin Hair Salon has been dedicated to outstanding customer service. This is both its ethos and its trademark.

Considerable investment facilitated the creation of a beautiful French boutique-style hair salon with huge, ornately carved white wooden mirrors and styling consoles, soft beige leatherette chairs, candelabra lighting, a spa zone for hair washing and head massage and a front window full of beautiful flowers. ( See

Every attention to detail has been given to create a luxurious, relaxing environment for clients to enjoy a luxury and affordable hairdressing experience.

Elle Martin Hair Salon Facebook page tells the story with more than 40 5* reviews to date. There is now a waiting list of clients with all stylists booked up weeks or months ahead. The Salon is owned by 27-year-old Elle Martin.

The staff at Specsavers Hereford in Maylord Street have a passion for excellent customer service.

They believe that delivering the best service they possibly can is top priority as without the customers they would not have a practice to begin with.

They treat each person who enters the store with the respect they deserve and make sure that everyone is treated equally. With every single eye test they perform being different from the last, it is important that they take each individual customer's needs into account for each and every pair of glasses they make.

They have in-depth conversations with all of their customers to ensure they understand fully what they need and make recommendations to them that will be in their best interest.