Sometimes I wonder why people make the decisions they do when it comes to business.
I was recently called into a mystery shopping consulting meeting with one of Market Viewpoint’s clients who is a large national retailer. During the course of the meeting, the director of operations, who is one of the most brilliant women I know in business, said to me, “I don’t want any mystery shoppers in my stores on Black Friday, Christmas Eve, or the Saturday before Easter.” When I asked her why not, she said, “Those are the busiest days of the year for us. Our stores are a mess, my staff is exhausted, and we won’t be at our best.”
I then asked her if she was interested in getting good mystery shopping scores or if her purpose of mystery shopping was to see how her stores were performing under the pressure of the holidays.
I then went on to suggest that for some shoppers, these critical days may be the first (and possibly last) time they set foot in your establishment.
I asked her why she didn’t think it was necessary to know what experiences these first time shoppers were having. If customers think her stores are messy, her staff exhausted, and performance at lower than preferred levels, isn’t it important to know that so corrections can be made and fixes put into place for next year?