Customer service awards handed out

A total of 10 businesses were recognized for showing exemplary customer service when the Rainy River Future Development Corp. named the winners of its 2005 Customer Service Champion Awards on Wednesday night.
Some 74 businesses from across the district had participated in the program this year, economic development officer Geoff Gillon noted during a presentation at La Place Rendez-Vous.
“It’s a credit to the business community that so many businesses are interested in customer service,” Gillon said.
He added that while only the top 10 businesses were given plaques for their customer service performance, “everyone who participated was a champion.”
The top 10 “Customer Service Champions” for 2005 were (in alphabetical order) Cloverleaf Shop Easy, Energy Motivation Fitness Centre, Fort Frances Chiropractic Centre, Gagné Pharmacy, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Northwoods Gallery & Gifts, Peterson’s Food Town, Pharmasave, Sears/Rainy River Duty-Free, and The Great Bear.
Only Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Northwoods Gallery & Gifts were on hand to accept their awards.
Honourable mentions went to The Corner Closet, Dairy Queen, Edward Jones, Fort Frances General Supply, Holmlund Financial, La Place Rendez-Vous, Norlund Oil, Super 8 Motel, Tim Hortons, and Tompkins Hardware.
Eighteen of the 74 participating businesses were from the west end of the district.
As reported in Tuesday’s Daily Bulletin, the call for participants in the program went out last fall, at which time businesses either volunteered to get involved or were chosen by someone to do so.
The RRFDC then contacted the participants, verified their participation, and told them they would be “mystery shopped” three times over the winter and spring.
Between February and April, three different “mystery shoppers” went to the 74 businesses one time each and scored the customer service they received using a point system.
Then they reported back to the RRFDC and calculated the scores.
This is the second year for the RRFDC’s Customer Service Champion program, the purpose of which is to let businesses gauge their level of customer service and figure out how and where they can make any improvements.
Yesterday’s awards ceremony coincided with the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s monthly “Business After Hours” event.
The next one is slated for Wednesday, June 22.
In other business news, the Chamber of Commerce will hold its semi-annual general membership meeting next Tuesday (May 24) from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at La Place Rendez-Vous.
The guest speaker will be International Falls mayor Shawn Mason.
All Chamber member are encouraged to attend, with lunch costing $15. Those interested are asked to RSVP by the end of the day Friday by calling Chamber office manager Dawn Booth at 274-5773.