Mystery shopping inspections – important tool in improving the quality of customer service.
– Mystery shopping essence and description
It is often hard for the management and owners of hospitality companies to objectively and independently evaluate the performance of their staff, as in their presence employees will try to present themselves well and therefore it might seem that everything is fine; for this reason not so positive guest feedback can cause misunderstanding and surprise. Therefore, what is happening at the moment when the management and owners are not present, can best be discovered and evaluated by a “mystery guest”.
In order to assess the exact level of service quality at every hotel, restaurant and spa centre, mystery shopping audits are conducted as ordinary and discreet customer visits, and neither the staff nor management is notified of the exact time the audit will take place.
During the audit the mystery guest, like any other client, uses the company’s offered services and at the same time makes an assessment according to defined criteria that can sometimes include 100 or more factors. To ensure the accuracy of the audit, the mystery guest often uses various technical devices.
– How can the mystery shopper behave?
Depending on the circumstances and audit goals, the controller can assume the character of different types of guests, for example, carefree and easy going client, who is polite, smiling and satisfied with everything. Or one who demands special care and attention, for example, due to the reason of lost luggage or specific dietary requirements (allergies etc.). The mystery guest can also play the role of a slightly “complicated” client, who is not satisfied, who creates irregular and other awkward situations, in order to carry out a more comprehensive evaluation of staff competence and hospitality.
Every audit is carried out by a professional mystery shopper with years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, who is able to feel and pay attention to every detail related to personal service.
– Benefits to the company of regular mystery guest visits
After the mystery shopping audit is conducted, the company’s management receives a detailed report that reflects both the strong points of a company and its weak points, offering solutions in order to avoid repetition of the same mistakes and problems in the future. Mystery shopping inspections motivate employees to always provide high-quality service to each and every client, thus contributing to the correct performance of duties and making this practice instinctive.
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