Mystery Shopper

So this past weekend I ventured out to buy some holiday gifts/Black Friday specials. I had no idea what I was in for, but I knew what I had experienced in the past. First stop, Best Buy.  I guess that the big box retailers still think that no one has a tv. Since that is ALL they seem to have. That and air fryers are all the rage, but it doesn’t seem like customers feel the same way. With streaming devices everywhere dvds and blu-ray discs are no longer marked down to ridiculous prices like before. It has been 2 years since the PS5 released and still there is no gaming consoles to be found. If I was a mystery shopper all of the stores would have failed. I know why they are down in sales. They don’t even say hello to customers, let alone shoplifters. The funny thing is Best Buy rearranged their layout, so loss prevention now faces the front door, and customers can see all their cameras in plain view. And a weird thing is they don’t give you a receipt unless you ask for it, so you literally walk out the door with no proof you paid. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Can we say “shrink problem”?

I tweeted to Best Buy and let them know of the epic fail on their part. They were very concerned and I gave them more detail in an email. I don’t know why they don’t sell things people actually want as gifts.



We Need To Talk

Those scary 4 words. You hear them from your spouse, teacher, supervisor and you cringe. From an HR perspective, I usually have to close the door as it usually means that employee is in trouble for … something.  Attendance, no call no show, customer complaint, … or the dreaded “survey results” conversation. As a consumer, you can use an internal “anonymous” review of employees. We call this “Mystery Shopper”. Of course, this doesn’t work in every industry or field, but it is something that can actually get an employee fired if they get enough bad survey results. Every Fortune 500 company that has customers have surveys. They also have reviews. They also have to fear angry customers exploding on their social media pages. If management or someone in the company wants to get rid of you, they are going to find a way. Sometimes they are assholes and get you on a “technicality” like a survey result that you can’t prove or disprove or defend yourself. If you didn’t know, your “5 star” review of your Uber/Lyft driver is super important. You can use that as a weapon. However, they can rate you too, and if you get too many 1 star reviews, no driver will pick you up, regardless what level of car you select.


So if you are the employee being rated, and you establish rapport with your new customer/client/friend, you can coerce them into giving you 5 stars. How? Ask them is there anything you can do for them before they leave the store to improve their 5 star experience. Maybe they wanted you to pair their phone to their car and you didn’t offer or ask? You are not a mind reader so ask before they rate you. When you are interacting let them know your goal is to provide a 5 star experience, and anything less is not acceptable for you. You can also let them know your job security and likelihood of helping them in the future depends on it. So, bad score, no employee. Got it. They get it. If they like you, they will use your name and say how amazing and awesome you are, and they are bringing all their friends and colleagues as new customers. Seriously, management loves hearing actual comments like that. I would tell my wireless customers I would give them free rollover minutes. <wink> Cost me nothing, but meant the world to them. It is also kind of important to know what you are being scored on so you meet or exceed those expectations. Like, did you offer financing? Join the membership rewards club? Ask for referrals?


So if you are working on your career plan, you should also track it. If you are collecting unemployment this is required. Use Microsoft Excel or some spreadsheet and copy and paste the job description, company information/history, in a way you can follow up and remember what you applied for. What if you apply for 25 jobs, all the same, and 10 call back and you have no clue what it is you applied. You want to sound smart and intelligent. Keep it in the cloud so you can update/review it on the go, or when you are about to walk into your in person interview. Having zero clue about the job or company shows you are unprepared and not a good fit. Use for additional company research. It is also a good idea to know who the owners/leadership are in the company.