As a business owner, you've probably heard of secret shoppers. An agency pays them a small amount to come in, use your service, and then evaluate it. The results are sent to you so that you're able to evaluate how your employees are performing and how your systems are working from an outside perspective. At first, this may seem like a cumbersome evaluation method but read on to discover a few benefits of hiring secret shoppers.
Employees won't know they are being evaluated.
It's really hard to evaluate an employee when they know they are being evaluated. They often change their behavior and immediately start following the rules when you or another manager are around. As such, you confirm that they know the "rules" but not that they are actually following them when real customers come into the store. If you hire secret shoppers, your employees will not know which customers are the secret shoppers, so they will treat them just like any other customers. Based on the secret shoppers' reports, you will get a true idea of how real customers are treated and how your employees are performing when they think nobody is around to watch them.
You get an outside perspective.
Everyone in your organization has seen and reviewed your processes many times. They might be all out of ideas for improvement. Bringing in secret shoppers gives you a new, fresh source of ideas. For instance, one of your shoppers may suggest you put the bread down on the table as soon as customers sit down since if this is not done, they end up waiting for the bread and increasing their overall dining time so you can't turn over their table as quickly.
You can compare results across locations.
If your business has several locations, secret shopping provides an easy means by which to compare them. You can see which stores get the most complaints about certain behaviors from secret shoppers, which ones have the most employee compliance, etc. If every secret shopper complains about slow service at Store A, but none do at Store B, then you know to spend all of your resources improving productivity at Store A rather than waste them at Store B.
Secret shoppers give you a convenient means of evaluating your business performance from an all-new perspective. Think about hiring a secret shopping company; most will bill you on a monthly basis and offer a great return on investment.