Monday, April 13, 2015

Everyone's a mystery shopper

I was working as a barman at the Kariwara Hotel in Elizabeth West in about 1987. I liked the job; front bar,saloon, lounge. It was all fine - some loud customers and a bit noisier later in a night. But there was once when I felt the most attacked and, metaphorically, violated.

That was the time we'd had a mystery shopper.

In a quiet moment I was called in by the pub manager and he grilled me off of a three page report that came from one of the customers who'd been paid to "observe the service environment". Every sigh or hesitation was an insult, a rush from one till to the next was a questionable call - perhaps I was ripping the pub off.

I could dispute it but nothing could change the fact that the report was in. All my protestations were just backstory.

And now every a**hole with a blog or a Facebook account is a mystery shopper. Every a**hole including me. And so the challenge is now what to do once you get trashed by a member of the public who thinks they're a restaurant reviewer.

But before that, is that as a service provider you can't afford to drop your guard. If you aren't tightly managing your people, processes and your physical evidence (in that order of importance) then every two bit blogger - including me - gets a free kick.

I came to a nice pub to write this one, though. Maid and Magpie wins again.

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