Feedback based on Mystery Shopping can either lift an employee up or bring them down. Let’s start with the question: “Why do we even conduct Mystery Shopping?”. Mystery Shopping is a tool for You, as a manager, to better support and develop Your team. It helps us to put our service standards into practice, rather than leaving them as mere fancy documents on paper. We get an objective understanding of how well our employees apply our company’s service standards in real customer interactions. Think of Mystery Shopping like taking a blood test. In this analogy, you, as the manager, play the role of a family doctor who needs to analyze the data collected in the “lab” and communicate the results to your colleague. And you should do it in a way that motivates them to follow your advice for improving their “health.”
Imagine if a family doctor gave a patient their blood test results and said, “Well, you know, it’s just a meaningless obligation that you need to fulfill … check your iron levels.” And that’s it! Feedback will not be useful if given without explaining which indicators, how, why, what’s the expected level of iron, and what’s considered too low? Or, if the doctor took a blood sample, held it up to the light, and subjectively said, “What a wonderful color!” It wouldn’t be very trustworthy, would it?
Conducting Mystery Shopping is not meaningful for the sole purpose of gathering information and “keeping it in a drawer”
So, if your company performs blood tests, sorry, Mystery Shopping, then as a manager, you likely play a significant role in providing feedback. The collected data must be analyzed and put to good use. There’s no point in conducting Mystery Shopping just for the sake of doing it. It is entirely pointless to take a blood sample knowing that nothing will be done with the collected data. Therefore, the crucial link between the Mystery Shopping report and the employee is the person who will provide the feedback based on the collected data. Feedback should motivate and not demoralize. Even a 100% achieving employee can feel demotivated if you simply say in passing, “You’re doing great as always, keep it up!”. Employee might easily feel that his/her efforts are not appreciated.
Giving feedback requires careful preparation
First, think about the employee you’re giving feedback to and the direction you want to guide them. Remember that they are sensitive individuals with their own pressures and concerns. Prepare your feedback thoughtfully. Consider why and what advice you want to give them. What changes do you want to see? Also, take into account their perspective. Pause and think! Don’t rush! Don’t say anything yet! Look at their Mystery Shopping results and think! Once you’ve figured out what to say, think about how to say it.
You might be entirely wright and speake the full truth in Your advice. Remember, if Your feedback is delivered in the whong way, it will not be accepted at all. And could even create resistance or make them consider finding a new job. Remember that receiving advice is as challenging as giving it. Depending on their background, some employees might perceive it as a personal attack based on their past experiences. The goal of giving feedback is to show the employee that you, as a manager, are there to support them. You put effort into helping them achieve better results and feel more comfortable and stress-free in the work environment.
During the conversation
For a successful feedback session, at the beginning, let your colleague speak and confidently express their viewpoints as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the advice may go in the wrong direction, and it might become rather Your monologue than a two-way conversation. When they are talking, You’ll get a pure understanding of their attitudes and opinions. And all this is rally impotant to get before giving advice. This information might change the course of your advice and add or remove points you had prepared beforehand. When you get to the advice-giving part, explain what, why, and how they should act to meet the company’s expectations.
Don’t impose it on them. Explain the personal benefits! Show them what they would gain from making the suggested changes. Focus on a couple of specific points and agree on how you’ll monitor implementation and measure progress going forward. As You direct Your employees (colleagues) to smile at Your customers, You must do the same when serving Your colleague during the feedback conversation. The principle of leading by example works very clearly here. Your attitude will influence the employee, and in turn, affect customer service.
Giving thoughtful feedback is definitely worth the effort!
Only weeds grow on their own. The internal climate of an organization is significantly influenced by its leaders. But it’s definitely worth the effort. As a manager, you will grow and progress immensely if you dare to give clear but kind feedback. You will sense that it’s received with an open attitude. And it feels amazing to see Your advice put into practice!
CEO, Trendline Analytics