Bristol’s first Cheers Drive winner is selected

Giovanni Murano has been announced as the first Cheers Drive award recipient, recognised for excellent customer service

Giovanni Murano, who has been announced as the first recipient of Bristol’s Cheers Drive award, is a driver at First’s Lawrence Hill depot. The 43 year old born and bred Bristolian was nominated for his cheerful nature and positive attitude. His nomination said: “He made jokes and wished everyone a good day as they got off, sometimes adding ‘see you tomorrow’ this man was amazing!”

First, Destination Bristol and the Bristol Shopping Quarter teamed up last month to launch the Cheers Drive awards. The aim of the awards are to recognise those First drivers in Bristol who go the extra mile to deliver great customer service.

Each month a winning driver is select. That driver receives a special Cheers Drive thumbs up pin badge, a certificate and, thanks to the generosity of Bristol’s Shopping Quarter, a £100 voucher to spend in the store of their choice, The individual successfully nominating the winning driver will also receive a prize in the form of free travel on the local bus network (worth £66)*.   At the end of the six month period one overall winning driver will also be chosen, and rewarded accordingly.

Jo Hawkins from Bristol Shopping Quarter was on the judging panel, she says:

“We are so pleased that so many drivers were nominated for the first Cheers Drive awards. It was a real pleasure to sit and read the nominations. Many of our customers arrive here by bus and it is very important to us that they experience good customer service on their journey.

She continues:

“Giovanni is such a lovely guy and we were pleased to reward him with a £100 voucher for House of Fraser”

Cheers Drive award winner Giovanni says:

“I was really pleased to have been nominated. I try to treat everyone equally. No matter what else has happened I try to greet everyone with a smile and help them in any way that I can. I always try to be cheerful and friendly but to be nominated by my customers is a really good feeling.”

Giovanni has been a driver with First since 2011:

“Over the years I have worked in different sectors but a lot of them have involved working with members of the public. I have always enjoyed dealing with customers and this job is no different.”

Giovanni drives a variety of routes across the city but tries to drive the 45 as often as possible which is his favourite route.

The first Cheers Drive awards received over 75 nominations and more have been rolling in next month’s awards.

James Freeman, Managing Director of First West of England says:

“It has been a great first month for the Cheers Drive awards with so many of our drivers being nominated. Giovanni Murano has made bus journeys better for his passengers, he is a credit to us.”
He adds:

“We want to continually drive up standards of customer service amongst our drivers and these awards are a great way to recognise and reward those people who are already delivering great service. We know we don’t always get it right, and we seek to take appropriate action if and when we identify those that let the side down, conversely, drivers like Giovanni and all those nominated demonstrate that many of our drivers are working hard to make bus journeys more pleasant for our passengers and they deserve recognition. I am looking forward to rewarding the next Cheers Drive winner.”

The awards are an ongoing partnership between First, Destination Bristol & Bristol Shopping Quarter. James Freeman explains: 

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Destination Bristol and Bristol Shopping Quarter on this awards programme.  Bristol is a fantastic place to live, work and visit, and if we can play our part in making the city even more attractive – by ensuring our drivers are ready and willing to help residents and visitors – then that can only be a good thing.”