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Professional Mystery Shoppers Rate Bolsover as Best in the UK

Authored on 30 Apr 2015

The historic Derbyshire town of Bolsover has been rated best in the UK for outstanding customer service.

In a mystery shopper exercise conducted by retail skills specialist, The Source Skills Academy, an unusually high proportion of the town’s retailers were highlighted as going above and beyond to achieve exceptional levels of service.

The Source has been conducting Mystery Shopping projects for the last three years in town centres, districts and markets around the UK. 

George Elliott, Business Communications Executive from The Source, commented, “We found the warmth and friendliness of Bolsover retailers to be outstanding. ”    

“From a shopper’s point of view, this kind of welcome contributes greatly to the overall customer shopping experience,” he said.   

Bolsover’s mystery shop scores were revealed at the Bolsover Town Jewel Awards ceremony last month, which was held to celebrate business growth and success in the town.  

Castle Card Shop, run by owner Dawn Walker since mid-2014, was named overall winner in the Awards. 

The Bolsover Town Jewel Awards come after the town last year won a £750K bid for European funding to brush up Bolsover’s image and boost the local economy, backed by a marketing campaign to increase visitor footfall. 

“I’m truly passionate about customer service,” added Mr Elliott.  “Any business of any size can stand out against the competition by prioritising their customers, encouraging them to come back time and time again.” 

“As Bolsover already has the popular attraction of Bolsover Castle, this is a brilliant opportunity for the town to attract more visitors and local residents to shop here.” 

12 businesses achieved a score of 100% in the Mystery shopping exercises and one of these was Castle Cycles, a specialist retailer tucked away in Cavendish Walk in Bolsover. 

Following a lifelong love of all things cycling, Malcolm Smith, 59, from Lincolnshire, chose Bolsover as the place to pursue his passion. He sold his convenience stores last year, before making his own grand depart to the area with his family to open the specialist shop last year. 

Castle Cycles also offers a route-planning service and personal bike coaching, as well as bike maintenance and repairs. 

“I’ll always try out a route myself before providing it to the customer,” said Malcolm. “Roads and tracks change quickly because of weather conditions and other things and people often don’t have the time to plan routes themselves.” 

Malcolm is a qualified Bikeability coach, teaching cycling skills to school children as well as adults. 

The business is booming, with the shop brimming with bikes waiting to be repaired. Malcolm has plans to expand and open a larger retail premises; his recent achievement in the mystery shopping exercise is surely further proof of his commitment to his customers and their shopping experience.


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