The holiday season revolves around beliefs, traditions, and stories. Many are true and some have been fabricated; woven and expanded through years, some have become more than the originator expected them to be.
As managers, we believe we hire good, nice, honest people to service our customers. We spend time training them, showing them the ropes and teaching them what customer service is all about. Our belief is that they will present to our customer the true nature of our business and intent. People, however, are human after all, and many like to weave their own version of your business.
From our treasure trove of mystery shopping stories, we present you with:
Mythbusters of Mystery Shopping:
Real stories from actual mystery shoppers
Myth #1: Our staff is honest!
FACT: I was doing a fast food shop once and asked “what’s good?” to the crewperson. He replied “I wouldn’t eat anything here are you kidding me?” If that wasn’t bad enough, as I proceeded to a table to drink my coffee/eat a breakfast item, the manager’s wife came in with their baby. She handed it across the counter to an employee who waited on the next customer as she was holding the baby. This went on for about 15 minutes and the crewpersons kept handing off the baby behind the counter from one to another while the manager’s wife had something to eat in the dining room. If they only knew who was sitting there taking it all in….
FACT: I was sent to evaluate a bar. It was an age compliance shop, meaning, I was supposed to sit at the bar and order an alcoholic beverage. If the bartender didn’t card me, I was supposed to immediately ask to see his manager, and give then a red “try harder” card. If the bartender were to card me, he would be rewarded with a green “congratulations” card on the spot. I sat down and ordered a light beer, the bartender began pouring and didn’t card me. I asked to see the manager and presented the red card. The bartender turns to his boss and says, “Well, look at her. Come on.”. I was very insulted and the bartender was extremely rude with his statement. I’ve never been back and don’t plan a return visit any time soon. I’m young, I tell you!
FACT: Once I was doing a bar shop and things were going as to be expected. Suddenly, the bartender pours himself a shot and does it. He then hands one to a customer (whom he apparently knew) without ringing it in, and that customer did a shot. The bartender ended up consuming three shots while I was at the bar – who knows how many he did after I left! Needless to say, it was an interesting write up.
BUSTED: Honesty is good to a point! Used to enhance your staff, your business and your customers. In all likelihood most of your staff is honest and discreet, no matter what their real opinion may be . . . but mystery shopping on a regular basis will uncover those who take it up on themselves to reveal a bit more than necessary!
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.