Creating the Ultimate Customer Experience: Mystery Shopping Program Sabotage! Could It Be Happening to You?

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Let’s face it. It’s the rare employee who likes to be evaluated. Most employees tremble in fear as managers announce performance review time and in those cases where the corporations have also implemented a mystery shopping program, it may be even worse. Is it possible that your staff is sabotaging your mystery shopping program?

Here are some of the tactics employees have tried using to eliminate the mystery shopping programs in their organizations:

  • Continually challenging the shoppers’ observations and perceptions hoping to wear the manager down,
  • Making attempts to discredit the mystery shoppers citing shopper attitudes (They were in a bad mood!) or behaviors (They were talking to their child during the transaction!) to indicate that the shopper did not conduct their shop properly,
  • Giving colleagues a “heads up” that mystery shoppers are in the area,
  • Displaying antagonistic attitudes and behaviors, and generally being unapproachable by management, about the mystery shopping process while refusing to see the value of customer feedback and how it can benefit the corporation as well as the individual.

Some things you can do to avoid mystery shopping program sabotage might include:

  • Conducting an informative and forthcoming roll-out of your program from the beginning,
  • Forming an employee steering committee to review the survey instrument and shopping guidelines before they are put into action,
  • Inviting a representative from the mystery shopping company in to meet with the staff to explain the process to them,
  • Consistently coaching each member of the team when the results come in refusing to let their attitude about the process influence the goal of your organization to provide superior service.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “What kinds of things can I do as a leader in my organization to gain as much support as I can for this program?”

Are your managers strong coaches? What have you done lately to ensure their success?

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