Employee Recognition News

On-the-Spot Rewards Shops are Rewarding

Sep 16, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Confero, Inc. would like to send a big thank you out to all of the mystery shoppers who helped us complete thousands of on-the-spot rewards shops this summer!  Mystery shoppers conducted these shops at amusement parks, movie theaters, casual dining restaurants, fast-food restaurants, and airports.

We got a lot of great feedback from our mystery shoppers about conducting this type of mystery shop.  If you have had reservations about trying a prize reveal shop, see what other mystery shoppers have said:

“It felt great to be able to award the successful cashier with the gift card.  The cashier told me that he had been working for this company for sixteen years and it was nice to know he is appreciated.” – Kelly M., California


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Are Employees Gaming Your Incentive Program?

Nov 29, 2011 by Confero Inc.

People tend to do those things for which they are rewarded. To encourage employees to provide the customer service promised to our customers, employee incentive and recognition programs are put into place to reward employees who engage in desired behaviors or who achieve specific outcomes. 

Desired behaviors can be measured by mystery shopping programs, manager reports, audits, customer feedback measures and performance reviews. Specific outcomes can be measured by sales amounts, referral numbers and the like.

No incentive program is perfect and, over time, sometimes employees figure out a way around the system to “earn” the incentive. In other words, sometimes employees “game the system”.

Here are some common games we see. We hope they help you in planning to avoid them.

The Game: Trick the Technology

If an organization uses technology alone to measure key service metrics and reward performance with incentives, the system is usually an easy target for gaming the system.

The modify the order trick. A mystery shopper overheard a training conversation at the first of two drive through windows at a quick service restaurant. When the mystery shopper attempted to hand the employee payment, the mystery shopper heard the trainer saying “No, never just accept the payment. Always be sure to click on Modify Order then click Ok  before you accept the customer’s payment. This will restart the timer on our transactions so our service times will look good.”

The ring up single items as multiples trick. At a grocery store checkout, the cashier entered a fresh bagel purchase as


Five Tips for Managing with Mystery Shopping Results

Aug 28, 2012 by Elaine Buxton

Does your current mystery shopping strategy take into account associates from different generations? Consider this fact: By 2014, millennials will comprise 36% of the workforce. You need to meet the unique needs of your different employee segments to manage effectively, and this millennial group demands attention.

Whether you want to see how well associates greet customers, upsell or resolve a problem, complaint or return; mystery shopping provides unique insights into employee behaviors. How you use this data ultimately determines how valuable the shops are, and reports and insightshelp you nail down key management areas. Here are five tips on using mystery shops to more effectively manage associates:


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Is Something Missing from your Mystery Shopping Program?  Five Tips to Keep Rewards Fresh!

Sep 26, 2012 by Confero Inc.

It’s no surprise that organizations that align employee rewards with company goals are higher performing than those that do not. When companies consider incentives for employees, some think outside the box and use a Google-like approach, for example, rewarding employees with free haircuts and gourmet foods. Simple and meaningful options tied to mystery shopping results also motivate employees. A little planning and creativity goes far, however many times managers struggle with ideas for employee recognition and on the spot rewards.

A little over a year ago, we posted some of our favorite employee incentive ideas for mystery shopping programs. As our clients’ programs evolve and we bring on new clients in new industries, we brainstorm ways to reward employees creatively. The key seems to be in reinventing the wheel: Successful companies periodically revamp rewards for excellent mystery shop results. Here are five ways to freshen up your recognition program:


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Coaching for Performance – Use Mystery Shopping Data to Enhance Customer Experience

Sep 11, 2014 by Confero Inc.

At the store level, stats are worthless without a coach to personalize the information, relate it to the team, and translate it in a concise way to keep employees up to date.  Here are five ways to make sense of mystery shopping data.


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