How important is a Mystery Customer Program for the Motel Industry?
11/9/2012 9:35 AM
You need to tread very carefully. The slightest of declines in your motel’s customer service levels can result in your customers leaving you for one of your competitors. There are many things that you can do to ensure that the customer service provided at your motel meets the highest professional standards. Among these is having a mystery customer program in place.
Mystery shopping has a long history. It was introduced in the early decades of the twentieth century. It was originally meant to serve as a sort of surveillance technique. In the early days of mystery shopping it was mostly employed for identifying sharp practices and theft. And so its use was more common amongst businesses that employed a large number of people who routinely worked with money. Private investigators looking into internal theft and fraud at banks and other similar business institutions made frequent use of the practice. It was also sometimes employed for monitoring financial advisors and making sure that they were doing their job honestly.
It was in the 40s and 50s that the retail and service industry started using the services of mystery customers for evaluating customer service. In the last few decades the practice has become very popular within the hospitality industry. Today, all sorts of hospitality establishments including motels make regular use of mystery customer programs for assessing their customer service.
The process is quite simple and straightforward. The motel management contacts a mystery shopping company and discusses with them the kind of information they require from their customers in order to evaluate the customer service being provided at their establishment. In light of the information required by the motel management the mystery shopping company designs a mystery customer program. They then send mystery customers to evaluate the customer service at said motel. Mystery customers visit it and judge it based on a set of criteria already set forth. After leaving the motel the mystery customers report their feedback. These days internet-based forms with check boxes are usually used for collecting information and feedback from them.
Most motels and other hospitality establishments now prefer mystery shopping to other methods of evaluating their customer service including in-house customer service evaluations. That’s because they know that experts at a reputed mystery shopping company have very effective techniques and approaches for customer service evaluation that they have developed over several years. They also know that their methodological expertise and years of solid experience make them ideal for managing the evaluation process. They realize that these experts can help them make a real difference to their business by helping them assess and determine the level of customer service they provide.
The motel management merely needs to contact a reputed mystery shopping company and discuss the customer service related issues facing the motel and the kind of information and data they require. Experts at the mystery shopping will know exactly what they need to look for and assess for dealing with the specific needs and issues of the motel.
The reason why so many motels and other hospitality establishments make use of mystery customer programs is because their management realizes that they can save a lot of time and money by hiring engaging the services of a reputed mystery shopping company as they are able to generate credible information (information that is extremely valuable) about their customer service without any hassle on their part.
They realize that it is only in the light of such information that they can make informed decisions about their motel’s customer service that will enable them to gain a competitive edge over rival motels. And it is only this completive edge that can enable their motels to achieve long-term success in the industry.