Change how you share mystery shopping outcomes with the team and improve results for future mystery shops.
Many clients receive emails with a link to the mystery shop result. Sometimes, managers forward or comment on the mystery shop, and copy a Confero team member, so we see their coaching comments to staff. The variety of feedback we see in terms of positive and negative coaching is eye opening!
What makes for action-oriented coaching for both good and bad mystery shopping results?
Here are our ideas based on our decades of mystery shopping experience. These provide insight into how to use the results to coach employees:
Good coaching examples:
The manager sent an email announcing successes in the mystery shopping program. He commented positively on the increase in mystery shop scores over the past six months and charted the percentage score increases. Why is this good coaching? Numbers tell the story with impact and prove the success. Give specific numbers that show improvement, as opposed to a general statement (“Scores have increased!”)
A supervisor sent an email to the team relating rising mystery shop scores and announcing competition between the two call center teams. “Do you notice our scores are rising? We had 100% scores this week! We formed two teams as healthy competition. This will make reps accountable.” Why is this good coaching? The email recognized success, named specifics (100% scores) and encouraged more success by creating a fun competition.
A manager reviewed a mystery shop report and emailed another manager to discuss rescoring the shop: “To be fair, Jim was fully engaged with another customer so it was not reasonable that he could have performed the other expectations for the shop.” Why is this good coaching? Good managers ensure that the score is fair relative to the situation and the company’s unique standards, and request a change if this is not the case. The company then avoids situations where employees feel that circumstances beyond their control caused a negative mystery shop result.
Negative (or threatening) coaching examples:
In response to a low scoring shop result, a district manager sent an email to the store manager: “Michael needs to start using the customer’s name or we should move him into a different position.” Emails like these create a negative shadow over the entire program. Coach with a positive slant and give specific recommendations on how to improve. Include reasons why it’s important to improve. Better: “Meet with Michael to discuss ways to remember to use the customer’s name. Remind him that research shows customers like to hear their own names. This will help increase his mystery shop scores as well as make customers feel more engaged.”
A region experienced poor mystery shop results during the past few months, so upper management sent this email to the regional manager: The mystery shop results are not good. Please make a plan to improve them.Why doesn’t this work as well as it could? Including the what, when and how makes this note more effective. Instead the manager could say, I’ve noticed that overall mystery shopping scores for your region went from 88% to 72% from April to June. The areas missed most often were upsell efforts and greeting. Please use your next sales meeting to discuss these two areas and how the team can improve in them.