More businesses sought for challenge

FORT FRANCES—For a fourth year, the Rainy River Future Development Corp. is looking for participants for its customer service challenge—and interested businesses only have one more week to sign up.
Program co-ordinator Crystal Godbout said Thursday morning that 18 district businesses have signed up so far, but she’s hoping to see that number reach last year’s total of 38 before the March 2 deadline.
She added registrations started off strong earlier this month, but that momentum has since slowed.
Godbout highly encouraged any business within the RRFDC’s catchment area (basically, the entire district except for Atikokan) to get involved, whether they’ve done it before or are first-timers.
“We think it’s a great thing for the businesses to get recognized if they have good service,” she noted. “It’s a fun, little challenge, that’s all.”
The challenge works like this: Businesses must sign themselves up. Then shortly after being contacted by the RRFDC, they will “mystery shopped” by a confidential, independent committee.
The mystery shopping will take place in March and April. Each business gets shopped three different times by three different people.
These shoppers rate the businesses’ customer service using standardized forms which are revised each year.
After the RRFDC gets those forms back, it will tally them up, review comments, and then pick the top 10 from across the district, also noting honourable mentions, Godbout said.
The winners likely will be announced in May—possibly during a Chamber of Commerce mix-and-mingle as they were last year.
Godbout said all the participants—regardless of how they do—eventually will get access to their performance evaluations so they can find out where their strengths and weaknesses lie when it comes to serving customers.
This challenge is free to all businesses in Rainy River District, no matter how big or small, noted Godbout.
While the RRFDC would like to see businesses that haven’t participated in the past, she noted some sign up year after year to keep tabs on the quality of their customer service—and this, too, is encouraged.
Once signed up, participants will receive an information package further detailing the program.
If you have any questions or would like to sign up, contact Godbout at 274-3276.