by Nissa Hanna
- Is the business easy to find in the phonebook? Is the e-tail site’s font easy on the eyes? These are the finer points of senior-friendly retail that the Elders in Action team uncovers.
- The Portland, OR-based nonprofit advocacy group gives its Elder Friendly Business Certification (a window decal and marketing insignia) to area businesses — like retailers, travel agents, moving services, car dealers and insurance firms — that pass the inspections of its undercover Mature consumers (NYTimes.com, 5 November 2010).
- In the weeks following a company’s application, Elders in Action sends four trained secret shoppers to see if that business lives up to its standards. They might call to ask for bus directions or check out a venue’s physical accessibility.
- If a store or service isn’t up to par, it has six months to shape up before another assessment is started.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Knowing that peers approve a business gives Mature shoppers a feeling of confidence that their shopping or service experience will be a pleasant one.
- Proactive Matures are looking out for themselves and others. Whether it’s through word-of-mouth at the senior center or a program like Elders in Action, these shoppers are sharing their experiences and opinions. Smart businesses should open the doors to a dialogue and a learning opportunity.