When Employees Dispute Mystery Shopping Reports

 

It’s hard to read about yourself, especially when the information isn’t so great. It causes people to become defensive, and this is no exception in the world of mystery shopping.

 

I try to counsel clients on what to do when an employee comes to them and disputes the information in a mystery shopping report. It is nerve wracking for the client when it first happens, but handling it appropriately will make all the difference in the success of the program.

 

First, take a look at the overall report, as well as the score. Most mystery shopping reports, if not all of them, provide report card scoring. Using the overall score can help alleviate employee disputes. For example, if an employee comes to you and says, “I SO knew that was the shopper, and what they are saying is completely wrong!” You can look at the overall score for guidance. One client’s response to this complaint was, “Well, if you knew it was the shopper, why did you score only a 70%?” That typically ends the conversation.

 

Depending on the situation, you can turn to the mystery shopping provider for assistance. We are always happy to get more clarification or help with any situations that arise, whether it’s providing receipt information, getting more information from the shopper who conducted the shop, or taking a look at the particular employee’s history on past evaluations.

 

Look for trends in disputes – if it is always a particular location that is disputing shops, or a particular employee, that signals an issue that needs to be addressed. They may be trying to undermine the program by complaining – they figure that if they can devalue the program enough, they will make it “go away.”  If it is a particular employee, that may signal dissatisfaction with their job, which needs further exploration.

 

There are times when a dispute is a valid one, and any good mystery shopping provider is happy to partner with their client to investigate issues and, if there is truly an issue, reevaluate the location at no additional cost. Clear and open communication across the board will help make every mystery shopping program a success.

 

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