Mystery Shopping reports are a gold mine of information. It never ceases to amaze me how much our clients get out of each and every single report. I was making some client contact calls today, and had the good fortune to actually talk to some of our clients in person rather than leave a voicemail. One of our relatively new clients confessed that, at first, the mystery shopping process was very intimidating to the staff. Most feared this was a tool that would be used to fire people and in a down economy, I am not surprised that employees felt this way. As the conversation contiuned, my client told me the employees were at a point where they actually look forward to getting the results of the evaluations. At first, I thought this was a bit unusual but the more I thought about it, the more I could see how this could happen and it all has to do with the way a program is introduced and managed. Here are some of the ways this company put a positive spin on their program:
- The mystery shopping process was launched as a way for management to assess operational procedures not individual employees. Big difference here.
- Employees were encouraged to think of mystery shopping as a way for everyone to improve and be more competitive.
- Supervisors and subordinates use the mystery shops each month as a way to open up discussions. The employees see management as coaches, there to help them be the best they can possibly be.
- Good performance is rewarded. What gets rewarded gets repeated.
So as you think about the impact that a mystery shopping program might have on your employees, consider the fact taht it just might be the best thing you could possibly do to coach your staff to higher levels of achievement.