“Daddy is a robber” …mystery shopping unmasked

“Daddy is a robber” …mystery shopping unmasked

My moral compass is 135cm tall, with sweet tooth she thinks herself a minion, and imagines she will one day become a hairdresser & water colour artist and a stand up comedian at night. My youngest daughter Rose is 9 & ¼ years old.

Yesterday, whilst I was at work; in other words doing stuff for financial reward, no other definition really holds up, she chastised me for doing stuff that, as she put it, “isn’t quite right”. As an occasional “mystery shopper” I have always played on the edges of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour to Rose, but having no option but to be accompanied by my juvenile judge on this occasion, I was faced with a raw moral dilemma; as much as I protested and assured her somewhere, someone, had commissioned this spurious activity, and, that the organisation was perfectly happy for me to snoop in the interest of performance and improving customer service. She said she was unhappy and convinced I was tantamount “ a robber” and at any moment likely to be nicked, handcuffed and marched into a Dixon of Doc Green retro Christmas special.

With an air of passive acceptance: she witnessed my skulking about, knowing that something wasn’t right, she winced and in my heart of hearts, I couldn’t help but agree.

Have we not moved on, is there not a better way to assess customer service performance, is it necessary to pretend to be a customer to appreciate a customer experience, isn’t that just to second hand.

Maybe we can just make it part of the normal customer experience, much like trip advisor we automatically review and asses an experience and offer a relative judgment. But unlike trip advisor it shouldn’t be something we actively seek to do, it should be something we automatically do, as part of the experience.

Is it, one practical, and two valuable? I should think so. It’s a cultural point, we just need to assume that every experience can be good or bad and on balance it’s our right as consumers to have good experiences. We should demand opportunity for a feedback loop, every business, every experience needs a feedback loop, how else are we to learn and improve. The future is for an immediate feedback loop as opposed to a vicarious interpretative response delivered two months after the event.

Mystery shopping as a discipline will one day soon be subsumed into experience; the two will become part of the same. Every time we buy Nike trainers our experience will be logged somewhere and built into our next brand moment, isn’t that the way it should be.

Otherwise we will continue to express ourselves vicariously and judge experiences on how others perceive them. This can’t be much of a future, or a particularly sophisticated way to manage customer experiences; for now it does a job, but I for one, as a practitioner believe the industry is in for shake up, and support the revolution. Power to the people.

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