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10 October 2008

Mystery Guests dinner- Mystery Guests shopper-

All Customers are Mystery Shoppers, Secret Diners and Mystery Guests - Online Reviewers

Do Mystery Shoppers, Mystery Diners, Mystery Guests, Test Purchasing and Secret Shopping help the Retail, Travel and Hospitality Industry Improve their Customers Services and Staff Training Programmes?

The Quality and Consistency, of the Service and products provided in any Customer Driven Industry, whether it is Retail, Catering and Hospitality, Hostel and Hotel Accommodation is the key to a successful Business. It is the one key factor that keeps customers loyal and coming back time after time to use your business or services.

Staffs need to provide good service and products to each and every customer that uses the Business and to understand the product or service they are providing and not just give good service when they think they are being watched or judged by the management, so simply put, they have to be at their best at all time.

That is why there has been a huge increase in the number of the anonymous Mystery Shoppers, Mystery Diners and Mystery Guests being used to access the consistency of services and products.

The purpose of Mystery or Secret Shoppers, Dinners and Guests by covert information gathering and data collection, is to evaluate customer service and brand audit

No matter whether the mystery person goes to a restaurant for a meal, a retail shop to make a test purchase or stays in a Hostel, Hotel or apartment accommodation, the way they are treated and served is a reflection of the way other customers are treated.

Usually the Mystery Shopper, Dinner or Guest, uses a set number of tick box questions for each location to access how well they were dealt with by the staff and also to access the quality of service and products provided.

These questions range from the most basic things that everyone should be aware of such as, being greeted on arrival and being thanked after they have finished, how quickly telephones are picked up, to more detailed and specific questions depending on what is being accessed.

It is easy to make a special effort when staffs are told that a certain customer is a VIP or might be an important person, but the key to a successful business, is to treat each and every customer as if they were a VIP and ensure that they are happy with what you are providing for them, because it is these every day people that are the basis of the Business and not the random VIP that may come once in a Blue moon.

The key to the success and the reason why Mystery Shoppers, Dinners and Guests are used, is to use the results analysis of the reports, to help to point out the gaps in training and areas that need to be improved in the way customers are cared for and the lack of training of staff in key areas that are important to customers. It is this information that should be used to improve the areas that are lagging behind, but also praise the staff and acknowledge were things are going well.

In order to get the staff to perform and take pride in what they do, you must instil loyalty in them. Somebody can not just be loyal to a business because you are paying them, using such argument is pointless.

To instil loyalty, the staffs need to believe that their contribution to the business is appreciated and their opinions are being listened to, and were necessarily rewarded for a job well done.

Recognition does not always mean, financial gain, a lot of the time a simple well done or thank you is appreciated just as much. One thing that destroys moral, is constant criticism with no constructive feedback from Management, Lack of respect from the management, this is in the case were a bad management style is in use and the lack of praise when a job is well done.

In order for staffs to want to be loyal and work well for the business and ultimately serve the customer better, they need to know that there are standards that must be upheld but also, when they are doing things well, it will be acknowledged by the management, it is this balance of training, assessment, Feedback and praise that makes staffs loyal not the wage packet at the end of the month. Simply put, there need to be a structured training. It is also difficult to motivate an underpaid and overworked staffs.

There is no point for an organisation to employ Mystery Shoppers, Dinners or Guests, deluding them self into thinking they will get the desired result, if they have not first trained their staff. Many organisations, especially in Retails and Hospitality (Restaurants, Bars, Hostels and Hotels Accommodation) make this mistake, because they are used to employing cheap labour with a high turn over of staffs.

Organisations time and money should be better spent, employing a better paid work force that will stay with the company for some time and benefit from a structured training that should and must be given, and the staffs being accessed, performance measuring, which will in turn translate into a better customer service.

In today’s ecommerce and internet world, organisations in the retails, travel and hospitality industry, should remember, that every customer is the same as a mystery Shoppers, Dinner or Guest,  and their staff should be trained from day one to give the best quality service and products possible, you will be able to control the feedback from paid Mystery shoppers, Diners and Guest.

But unhappy customers go to online review websites and forums and leave their option about your business online. Once their comments and ratings are uploaded to the web there is no way to stop other customers from reading what their experienced was from your staff and business, and taking their comments into account before using your services or products, bad online reviews can be very detrimental to any Business.

The key to making sure there are no bad reviews out there, damaging your business, is to train your staff to use their Common sense and put customers first.

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