On Thursday JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch presented the outline of the JRC Ambassador Program to the city’s Strategic Planning and Partnership Commission, saying downtown businesses will need to be prepared for an influx of out-of-town visitors when the National Comedy Center opens later this year, and that means making a positive first impression.
“We only have one chance to make that first impression,” Hatch explained. “If somebody Googles or Yelps or puts something online saying they had a miserable time because they had a cold sandwich or were treated rudely, it’s going to impact and the impact of a bad review could be colossal to the whole project.”
As a result of trying to make a positive first impression, Hatch said the JRC will be launching its Ambassador program, which will focus on working with 33 different businesses in the downtown over the coming months.
“The goal of the program is to create a low-cost yet efficient method so that our guests would be led to knowledgeable, trained people who can offer excellent interactions, and those people are our brick and mortar business owners. So our goal is to have business owners help create an even more welcoming environment so when people leave here they feel safe and welcome,” Hatch said.
A component of the Ambassador program will be an online training session for participating businesses at no cost to them. IN addition, signage that will highlight the downtown ambassadors will also be installed, either on the sidewalk, in store front windows, and/or hanging over the entrance of a business.
Hatch said all the details are just about worked out and the JRC will begin engaging with downtown businesses in the coming weeks. That engagement will include invitations to upcoming meetings, promotions through social media and traditional news media, and in-person outreach at various business locations.