Do mystery shoppers have to find something negative to report?
A general misconception about mystery shopping is that most employees including managers think that the inspectors must find something negative to report when in fact, mystery shoppers help identify opportunities for improvement. The ultimate goal is to give clients information they need in order to make an educated assessment of their operations. Since Servimer shoppers do not know what is the most important for a client, they report everything they see or hear regardless whether it is positive or negative.
Servimer shoppers always have to say the truth and stay away from complicated descriptions, such as “I saw a ticket being processed” in order to avoid misinterpretation of their writing. A challenging part for the shoppers is absorbing an enormous amount of visual and audio information within a short period of time. Servimer shoppers are walking camcorders; and, therefore, they often use video and audio recording devices.
Do shoppers display irrational behavior to provoke the same from company employees?
Unless specifically ordered by a client, the Servimer shoppers will not behave inappropriately. Many times Servimer shoppers present employees with situations requiring them to make decisions as well as situations giving the employees an opportunity to perform unethically and a chance to redeem themselves.
The shoppers are not problem solvers. They are only messengers! They report observations “as is” and instructed to photograph the infractions if possible.
Why are shoppers so judgmental?
Although it is very easy to judge the operations, Servimer shoppers are not allowed to imply their judgment in descriptions. For example, if a mystery shopper observes insufficient lighting, there are two ways to describe it: (1) it was so dark that I could not even read the price tag; or (2) although all lights were on, the lighting was inadequate; thus it is recommended to upgrade the light fixtures. The second option is a recommended way to describe the situation without rendering any judgment.
Do shoppers always have to ask “stupid” questions?
Very often evaluated personnel figure out mystery shoppers based on questions they ask, for example, where is the post office? Or where is the nearest gas station? Shoppers do not need to ask rhetorical questions, only those logically come out from the conversation. To properly evaluate customer service, most clients require having a conversation with attendants. Thus, shoppers have to use their creativity. In the current quick and dynamic environment, mystery shopping companies adopt quickly in order not to jeopardize the shopper’s identity.
Servimer has evolved from doing shops just for the parking industry to hospitality and transporation shops around the US and Canada. Servimer provides two major types of mystery shopping services:
1. In person
2. By Phone
Servimer applies similar service measures as the most Mystery Shopping companies (MSC) but with emphasis on integrity. Here is the Service measurement pyramid developed by the Servimer owner that is applied to the Servimer service evaluations where Appearance, Customer Service and Risk Management are sides of the pyramid standing on Integrity the foundation. Once Integrity is removed, the pyramid does not have a chance to stand much longer.
Appearance, customer service and risk management are undoubtedly extremely important and play a huge role in business development. However, Integrity is a foundation, a corner stone of any business because it is directly related to profitability. If not for integrity, appearance, customer service and risk management, we would not have ground to stand on. Unfortunately, often the biggest theft is conducted by people with remarkable customer service skills. One of the best summaries of why people commit fraud is provided in the article “Addressing Fraud in the Current Economy” by Ernst & Young.
The Servimer founder applied this analogy at the time when Servimer was formed. While being tired of the mystery shops providing only positive information about customer service, a new method was established by Servimer. See the Approach page to see the founder's view of services that describe operations AS IS and in details required by the industry. Similar to the 1957 novel about the Second World War by Scottish writer Alistair MacLean, Guns of Navarone, where military intelligence of the island was done by the fortress expert pretending to be a drunk and precisely evaluating the locations of the coastal artillery guns, Servimer has internal shopper training system that takes inexperienced shoppers and produces recon specialists for certain industries.
This is what makes Servimer so uniquely different from other MSCs.