If surgeons left the scalpel in patients’ hands, a majority of people would die as opposed to shoving the blade into their flesh.
It’s a gruesome example but not as egregious as idea of putting the power of customer service evaluation at the discretion of the employees to be evaluated. Despite this, a lot of businesses gamble and use receipt or bag stuffer surveys to learn about their customer service.
“Before we sedate the patient, let’s ask them if they would like to make the initial incision.”
I see this approach a lot. I went to a restaurant. The service was great, and the cashier told me I would receive a free cookie if I used the link and promotional code at the bottom of my receipt. Who doesn’t love cookies, especially when they’re free? People love free stuff, but not if they have to go out of their way to get it. The breaths between smiling at the cashier and turning to leave are distant enough to constitute going out of the way. People forget.
Let’s say the experience was awful. Most employees will know when they aren’t living up to their employers’ service expectations. What incentive would an employee have to tell a shopper about the survey if they knew things didn’t go well? You may as well hand them the scalpel, doc.
Receipt programs, while a somewhat cost-effective method, don’t work as a stand-alone option and eventually cut into your profits as customer service plummets. Most people toss their receipts within sight of the first trash can or it goes through the washing machine forgotten in pockets. Either way, the experiment ends with the customer service litmus test crumpled into a ball under a rotting banana peel.
The scalpel will never cut deep enough if it’s left to the patient. They know what’s at stake, not that all employees are unscrupulous. The cost of the program pitted against the actual results doesn’t add up for companies, try as they may. It’s difficult to say if the survey is meant to collect useful data or simply an implied threat.
Mystery shopping surpasses the receipt/ bag stuffer method in several ways. The first is that it removes the ability of those being evaluated to pick and choose the respondents. Yes, a more inquisitive and proactive customer may find the survey link on the receipt, but your average customer won’t take the time. Mystery shoppers can provide an evaluation regardless of circumstance or access.
Accuracy is another area some regular customers may not provide. Mystery shoppers enter the assigned location sensitive to the details of the experience. They are listening to the employees, mentally—and sometimes physically—recording what is said and done. They’re looking for names, times, and actions whereas the everyday shopper willing to contribute to the program may not gather this information. Details are everything.
This is way too easy.
Shoppers provide more than just opinions, too. They provide objective material and explain it. If it’s left to the everyday customer, they’re going to skip over explaining their answers if they can scroll to the next question, because they’re more invested in simply reaching the end and collecting a cookie or a coupon. The carrot, in those cases, hangs too close to the maw. Let the certainty of a quality mystery shop lead the way. — J.K. Cox
How much is your restaurant losing at closing time?