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More businesses being sought for challenge

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For a fifth 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 this morning that 21 district businesses have signed up so far, but she’s hoping to see that number reach at least 30 before the Feb. 15 deadline.

“It’s not going too bad,” she remarked. “There’s been a couple coming in every day.”

Godbout stressed any business within the RRFDC’s catchment area (from Mine Centre west to Rainy River, and north to Morson and Nestor Falls), can get involved in the free program, whether they’ve done it before or are first-timers.

“We’d like to encourage more of the west-end businesses to sign up. We don’t have many from out there,” she added.

Godbout noted there’s no upper limit to the number of participants and as long as they’re a district business, no one will be turned away.

While a business has to register themselves to participate, she added people who shop at a certain business and get good service should encourage that business to sign up for the challenge.

Those businesses interested in signing up can contact the RRFDC at 274-3276.

After the Feb. 15 deadline, the participating businesses will be contacted by the RRFDC and then “mystery shopped” by a confidential, independent committee.

Godbout said the mystery shopping will take place in March and April. Each business gets shopped three different times by three different people.

These shoppers will rate the businesses’ customer service using standardized forms which are revised each year, noted Godbout.

After the RRFDC gets those forms back, it will tally them up, review the comments, and then pick the top 10 from across the district, also noting honourable mentions, Godbout added.

The winners likely will be announced in May—possibly during a Chamber of Commerce mix-and-mingle as they were last year.

After the winners are announced, Godbout said all the participants (regardless of how they do) will get access to their performance evaluations so they can find out where their strengths and weaknesses lie when it comes to serving customers.

A total of 32 businesses from across the district participated in the program last year.

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