Hotel Online Special Report
Can Mystery Shopping Help You?
by Harry Nobles, April 1999 

An anonymous service evaluation, commonly called “shopping,"  is one more way to assess how well your staff is serving your guests.  When properly used,  a mystery shopper can help you identify weaknesses and flaws in service delivery that never happen when you are watching.  Shoppers can also uncover theft, an unfortunate but real problem that occurs in all business environments.   On the positive side, a shopper can also identify those employees who provide consistently superior service to your guests.  I always advise my clients to use this knowledge to recognize and reward employees.   Your employees will appreciate and respond to positive feedback.

I advise clients that shopping a property too frequently can have a counter-productive effect; employees can develop a defensive attitude when they perceive they are being scrutinized excessively.  In my opinion, there is already sufficient stress inherent in the daily workload of your guest contact employees.    You can conduct regular anonymous evaluations without overdoing it.  I suggest no more than quarterly shopping, and I suggest that the property be shopped in both peak and off-peak periods.

Mystery shopping is just one more tool to help management assess  employee performance, assure consistent adherence to standards,  and maximize guest satisfaction.  

Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076
Pager:  800-577-7468  PIN# 303-9130
  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: The AAA Five Diamond Award for 1999 Earned By a Record 105 Outstanding Lodgings and Restaurants / Nov 1998 
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Dealing with the AAA or Mobil Inspector - Does AAA Approval Help? / Dec 1998
"AAA" - Hotel Online Viewpoint Forum
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.Online Search
Back to Hotel.Online Press Releases
Home | Welcome! | Hospitality News | Classifieds | Catalogs & Pricing | Viewpoint Forum | Ideas/Trends
Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.