November 29, 2011
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.Â
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 â€œearnâ€ the incentive. In other words, sometimes employees â€œgame the systemâ€.
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 â€œNo, never just accept the payment. Always be sure to click on Modify Order then click OkÂ before you accept the customerâ€™s payment. This will restart the timer on our transactions so our service times will look good.â€
The ring up single items as multiples trick. At a grocery store checkout, the cashier entered a fresh bagel purchase as
July 22, 2010
A: Allow time for consideration of mystery shop goals, survey question details and possible scenarios during the set up of a new mystery shopping program .
B: Build on the information that you gain from your mystery shops so that you can improve and redirect your program periodically.
C: Customize your mystery shopper survey to reflect your firm’s unique service and sales priorities.