The belief is that our staff will always treat the customer kindly – isn’t that the natural reaction when you are dealing with the public?
Once again, from our treasure trove of mystery shopping stories, we present you with:
Real stories from actual mystery shoppers
Mythbuster #2 – Our employees know how to act in front of the customer, no matter what is going on behind the scenes.
FACT: I was conducting a dinner visit at a national casual dining chain restaurant. I arrived with a party of five other women from work, as instructed. We had to wait 20 minutes to be seated on a Monday night as we were told we were a “large party”. Our server was grumpy the whole evening. He rolled his eyes when we asked for separate checks before ordering. He never offered refills. The worst part was when delivering my steaming hot fajitas, the server wore oven mitts and tried to hand them directly to me!! I asked him to please set them down in front of me, which he did with a loud sigh. Needless to say, the report was not glowing, and we didn’t return to that establishment!
FACT: The location was a highly regarded clothing store in a west coast mall. Both the outside and interior of the shop were in excellent condition. I was greeted promptly by a male with a broad smile, good eye contact and a pleasant voice. He offered to help me at once but I told him that I wanted to browse for a while. There were two other shoppers also checking out items. I selected a few pieces of clothing, placed them on my arm, and returned to the greeter to ask questions about my selections and to try them on in the fitting room. As we were discussing whether or not a fabric shrinks, the manager came stomping out of the back and approached us. Her face was full of anger and her eye of fury. She broke into a shouting rage directed at the associate who was assisting me. Unfortunately because I was standing next to him, the verbal abuse was directed at me also. The other two customers were also submitted to hearing the manager’s wrath.
The associate had not made a major error or stolen anything. I felt empathy for him and thought the manager should have taken him to the back to make her reprimand. It was extremely uncomfortable and unfortunately reflected poorly on the manager and the store.
FACT: I walked into the Cleaners and approached the counter. A female employee greeted without smiling or making eye contact and asked me for my phone number. I told her and she entered the number into the computer without looking up at me. She then went off and immediately came back with clothes and placed them on the rack in front of me. She did not confirm the amount of items I had cleaned, however I noticed immediately that all of the clothes on the rack did not belong to me as there were two men’s suits included with my 3 blouses. Without looking up from the register, the employee stated the amount due and held out her hand for my payment. I told to her that all of the clothes were not mine as I had only brought in 3 ladies blouses. She looked up at me disgustedly and emphatically said, “Well they have your name on the tag!” I told her that there must be some mistake as they are not my clothes. She once again said, “Your name is on them so they must belong to you!” I suggested to her that it must have been done in error as they are not mine and that I would not be paying for them. I still was not able to convince her of the mistake; however she did make the adjustment so that I only had to pay for my blouses. She did not thank me, nor did she apologize for the inconvenience this caused. My hope is that the man that owned the 2 suits received them back.
BUSTED: Unfortunately, some employees do not realize the lasting effects of their actions or moods on the customer. If there is a competitor down the street, after encounters such as these, your customer is likely to go there to receive the customer service they believe they deserve. Mystery shopping on a regular basis will help to keep situations such as these in check.
Our thanks this month to guest blogger, Diane Sweeney. Diane has been with Market Viewpoint for 10 years and is currently VP of Operations. Diane has worked in marketing and human resources for all of her career. She also runs a nutrition consulting firm, Healthy Solutions. Her life-long love of writing now has a venue as a she blogs for Market Viewpoint, her own website, and those of friends. The service industries and the health of the human spirit are topics close to her heart.