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    University of Arizona Seeks Nominations for Exemplary Customer Service

    TUCSON, Ariz. - The Southwest Retail Center for Education and Research at the University of Arizona has been awarded a research grant by the National Retail Federation Foundation to identify and recognize the very best in retail customer service practices.

    TUCSON, Ariz. - The Southwest Retail Center for Education and Research at the University of Arizona has been awarded a research grant by the National Retail Federation Foundation to identify and recognize the very best in retail customer service practices.

    The goal of this research is to recognize a wide variety of exemplary practices in customer service at North American retailers and chain restaurant operators of all sizes, formats, and classes of trade. The results of the survey will be published in book form, as a collection of case studies and analysis titled "Customer Service Excellence 2004." Highlights will be presented Jan. 14, 2004, at the NRF 93rd Convention & Expo in New York.

    Retailers, their partners, and knowledgeable observers are invited to consider which retail organization is distinguishing itself through a superior customer service practice that delivers a meaningful benefit for customers and/or the retailer. Multiple nominations are welcome.

    Retailers are encouraged to self-nominate for this national recognition as a customer service leader. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 30. Both online and downloadable nomination forms are available at http://cals.arizona.edu/fcs/cse2004/. Nominators may also link to the site from the NRF home page at http://www.nrf.com.

    The Southwest Retail Center has begun the call for nominations this week with more than 500,000 impressions spread among several widely read e-letters, including "NRF Smart Beat," "FMI Daily Lead," "NRA Smart Brief," "GMA Smart Brief," Retail Forward newsletters, "Top of the Net," and several others. Nominations will be coded and analyzed by a team of experts at the center, and approximately 50 will be selected for profiling in the final book.

    The CSE2004 survey is funded by a grant from the American Express Company to the NRF Foundation, the nonprofit research and education foundation of the National Retail Federation. American Express is committed to the recognition and advancement of exemplary customer service practice at retailers of all sizes and in all classes of trade. The Southwest Retail Center was awarded this project by NRFF following competitive review. Principal investigator for CSE2004 is James Tenser, a master's degree candidate at the University of Arizona's Division of Retail and Consumer Science. Principal co-investigators on the project are Melinda Burke, M.S. director of the Southwest Center for Education and Research, and Soyeon Shim, Ph.D., professor and director, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

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