Shoppers who have enjoyed a positive experience in a local store can now reward a store employee for excellent customer service through a new program being initiated this week by the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Nomination forms and ballot boxes for the Chamber’s Customer Service Award are being distributed by Chamber board of directors members this week. The award will reward store employees for exceptional customer service, office manager Celecia Gallagher said this week.
There will be one winner per month, Gallagher said, with the employee receiving $25 worth of chamber bucks and the employee’s business being recognized by becoming the temporary home of a traveling hospitality mascot, Rio the Wild Mustang.
Gallagher said the award doesn’t have to be an immediate customer service experience. It could be a memory of a recent experience. She added that the nomination form can be placed immediately in the ballot box, dropped off at another store’s box or taken to the chamber office at 287 E. Main in Lovell.
The ballots will be collected monthly and the award approved by the board of directors, then presented at the next chamber general membership meeting held on the third Monday of each month at the Brandin’ Iron Restaurant.
The initial rollout of nomination forms and ballot boxes is taking place this week, with 30 businesses in the first wave. Another 21 locations will be added later. An employee from a business that doesn’t have a box yet may be nominated, but only an employee and/or business that is a member of the chamber of commerce can win.
The idea for the customer service award came from former chamber president Janet Koritnik based on a positive experience she had at a local store from an employee who went out of her way. Koritnik wondered how such an employee could be rewarded and took the idea to the chamber board.
“I’m excited about his program, and I’m hopeful that it catches on in the community,” current chamber president Joseph Shumway said. “Employees should be recognized for great service and have customer service at the front of their minds. This is a really good way to kick that off as a positive reinforcement. It’s also another benefit of being a member of the chamber of commerce.
“We hope this translates into great service to each other in the community but also to people passing through who would walk away and say to themselves, ‘That was exceptional. I’m going to tell someone about that.’”
Shumway said he also hopes the Rio mascot will generate interest and conversation about the program.
By David Peck