Mystery research projects are quality test that give managers in a company an inside look at friendliness, expertise and process reliability of their employees who deal with customers. The mystery shopper goes through a predefined scenario as a customer (buys something, makes a request on the telephone or in written form, brings a vehicle to be checked, pretends to be patient in a doctor’s office, voices a complaint …).
Using a checklist created in dialogue with the client and ideally also the employees to be tested, this situation is analyzed and evaluated by the mystery shopper in retrospect. What is very common is a mix of quantitative and qualitative evaluation results. After performing a test cycle, these review results will be statistically processed and findings about potential will be identified and presented to the client.
It is useful to discuss each test performed immediately and directly with the employees tested, and, if necessary, to identify measures to change behavior in a dialogue with the employee. Hence, especially after training and coaching programs, employees receive accurate feedback about their behavior in everyday action and can directly incorporate the desired changes into the work process.
The “checking” and “adjusting” of not-yet-optimal behavior goes hand in hand to create a continuous improvement process.
Instead of elaborate training measures, the return on investment is enhanced by a high degree of integration of the learned content into the employee’s actual working day.
The personal results can be kept confidential, and can be anonymously used in bundled form as a basis for precisely customized personnel development measures.
“Saying is not understanding. Understanding is not agreeing. Agreeing is not implementing. Implementing is not retaining.”
Mystery shopping interventions can be carried out either by phone or in person. The more precisely the test criteria have been discussed in advance, the more accurate the results.
This way – in combination with tailored personnel development measures – a culture of human interaction can be achieved in sales and aftersales, which really makes good on the “shiny” promises made in advance in the form of brand-oriented behavior.
- Briefing on existing standards or collaboratively creating a list of criteria for service and brand-conscious behavior/defining standards
- Decision on desired test scenarios and the general set-up for management and employees
- Agreement and commitment with all stakeholders …
Perform test interventions with experienced testers
- Evaluation of the tests by testers or by coach; personal learning steps are derived with the tested employees in written form
- Regular update on test status (number, intermediate result …)
Presentation of results:
- Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the test results; reporting and presentation
- Recommendations on how to move forward
- Derivation of precise qualifications
References: BMW Sales Organization, Siemens Facility Management, various medical practices,…