There was a powerful story all over the news recently about an organization where their employees were secretly video taped and it has rocked this organization to its very core.
Whether you agree with the technique of those shooting the tape secretly or those being caught off guard on tape, one thing is for sure and that is there is a price to pay for not training your employees the right way and holding them accountable to non-negotiable standards.
So if I secretly video taped your employees, what would they be doing and saying? And if I showed you that tape would you be sick to your stomach or worse?
One way to minimize a lack of standards is to create detail operation manuals. The ones I create for clients detail for each position at their company what they should be doing 80% of the time. And with constant practice and buy-in it does help minimize the damage these types of sting operations can cause.
BUT even with manuals, training and role-playing, you can never really know what you’re employees are doing or saying. That’s why I insist that my clients put in place a Mystery Shopper Program. And you need to do the same at your company!
A Mystery Shopping Program is nothing new in the retail and food industry. They have been paying people for years to pose as customers to find out how well they really are delivering on what the company has in policies and procedures in the real world.
You too need a Mystery Shopper Program because if you have sales, operational and technical standards in place but without verification from 3rd party impartial observation from the real-world you won’t really know for sure what is and isn’t happening in the field
Who would be good candidates to become a Mystery Shopper?
- Dissatisfied customers.
- Family members with a different last name that the staff wouldn’t know.
- Family friends that the staff doesn’t know about.
What does a customer get for becoming a Mystery Shopper?
- They get a refund on a disputed bill if they came to us as dissatisfied.
- They get a discount on the work performed in a Mystery Shopper call.
- They feel better about the company knowing that we have standards.
- They feel honored knowing we need them to help us maintain those standards.
How else does the Mystery Shopper program work to benefit the company, the staff and the customer?
- Mystery Shoppers maybe receptive to having small groups of trainees come to their home if there’s a reward in it for them. This would allow us to more closely simulate “real game conditions” that goes beyond what we can do in the Training Center alone.
- Mystery Shoppers help avoid the danger that can be created when Techs and System Engineers get a bonus for selling and they’re tempted to sell unethically.
- Mystery Shoppers help identify specific coaching needs. They also allow us to catch Techs and System Engineers doing good work.
- Mystery Shoppers help verify that sales and operational standards are being performed in the real-world at the high-level of performance we desire.
- Mystery Shoppers can be a valuable tool in converting dissatisfied customers into an asset to the company.
- Mystery Shoppers can be trained to call your office to verify compliance by the CSRs to their Operations Manual and in particular their scripts.
In my next blog, I’ll have even more about how to make the Mystery Shopper Program work at your shop.