Promoting Retail Economic Development in Your Town – Mayor’s Round Table Secret Shopper Program

What is your city or town doing to promote itself? Not enough I suspect. Oh sure, your town or city like most has spent a good deal of money on color brochures promoting itself, done a nice job on the city website to attract tourists and give information, but what about the home team advantage? What about the essence of what your city is about – the great customer service, hospitality, and caring? That’s what brings people into the businesses, and coming back for more.

It also tends to spread the word of mouth fastest in the marketplace, on Facebook, and between friends and family. Okay so, I’ve not told you a whole lot you don’t already know. But I’d like to suggest a great program your community, town, or city can institute today, right now, one which will work, one which is one, and one which will increase sales at local businesses, increase jobs, and bring forth increased sales revenues to the city coffers.

In fact, there was a very cool article in our local paper hear way out in Palm Desert, CA. Our small local paper is called the Desert Sun, a Gannet News Corporation newspaper. The piece was in the “Across the Valley Section” and article was titled; “City Recognizes Exceptional Service” by Sherry Barkas and published on May 16, 2011. The program has been going on for 12-years here, and the current awards, as the article stated were given out by the Local Chamber of Commerce to 10 people.

“Two people helped a dog in crisis at the groomers. One man returned a diamond ring he found while cleaning a car. Another assisted a customer in need of paint supplies, who was severely flustered.”

Okay so, now you are beginning to see how the program works, and it doesn’t take much to start. Here is what you need to do:

1. Make an outline of this program.

2. Get a small committee meeting together with members of the;
a. Chamber of Commerce
b. Local Area Service Clubs
c. Economic Development Association
d. Mayor’s Round Table
e. Business Editor of Local Paper

3. Have a call-in number of email address for people to nominate business employees for great customer service.

4. A small group of volunteers who will secret shop at the businesses of nominees to see if the employee is really giving that 110% customer service which warrants an award and mention in the news paper.

Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, or perhaps a similar case study, please feel free to shoot me an email.