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(Mountain Home) – “Arkansas Hospitality Association and Arkansas Parks and Tourism have partnered to assist communities to present a positive image to visitors and increase our bottom-line,” said Eddie Majeste, CEO/President Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce. The Welcome to Arkansas Secret Shopper Program was in Mountain Home on July 19, 2012.

Eight entities of Mountain Home and the Twin Lakes Area were visited and graded based on their greetings, attentiveness, appearance, professionalism, knowledge of the area, suggestions, and providing directions.

“Our secret shopper experience in Mountain Home was very positive,” stated Scott Sudduth, Arkansas Hospitality Association. “Each venue had employees with great guest service skills. All but one person we encountered had an excellent knowledge of the area. Half were given an overall rating of ‘Above Average’ and the remaining venues were given an ‘Excellent’ overall rating,” said Sudduth.

Five of the locations received ‘Excellent’ ratings for their greetings and attentiveness to guests. The other three scored ‘Above Average’ in this area. Seven out of the eight gave ‘Good’ specific suggestions for activities. Five of the six shops asked for a restaurant recommendation provided ‘Good’ suggestions followed by quality directions.

“According to Sudduth, none of their stops raised any serious concerns. Overall, their experience in Mountain Home was great! Our people were very friendly, attentive and enthusiastic. The front-line workers were knowledgeable of the area and able to make good suggestions,” said Majeste.

The Welcome to Arkansas cross-selling and guest service training program seeks to increase visitors’ satisfaction with an Arkansas vacation and improve customer service by arming frontline personnel with messages about their local community, region, and state. The project was created by members of the hospitality and tourism industry who attended statewide research meetings in mid-2008.

Scott Sudduth taught two different seminars over that past couple of years for the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce. Members and non-members were invited to attend this free seminar. If you are interested attending a Welcome to Arkansas seminar, contact Eddie Majeste at or call 870-425-5111.

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