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Mystery shopping - the RCN experience

 Anna Semmens 17 Jul 2017 Library

The RCN Library and Archive Service have been busily working towards completing the Customer Service Excellence Award.

The RCN Library and Archive Service have been busily working towards completing the Customer Service Excellence Award (CSE). This work included mystery shopping our service to ensure staff are meeting our service standards and the RCN's Customer Service Promise.

We began this work by identifying all the criteria the mystery shoppers were testing us on and communicating to the team that this work was beginning. Once we had identified all the criteria, we wrote simple and straight forward scenarios for the mystery shoppers to act out. We avoided the temptation to make the scenarios overly complex to ensure we were being fair to staff and as member's enquiries are generally straightforward.

Most of our mystery shoppers were experienced at working in library customer services and the remainder had experience in general customer service. Each shopper was briefed about their scenario, given a mark sheet to check against the specified criteria and asked to observe the general service they received. Following each mystery shopping session the shoppers debriefed to the joint services manager and the staff member involved was fed back to about their performance.

 The feedback from the shoppers was overwhelmingly positive and the customer service received was uniformly of a high quality. All shoppers said they received fantastic service including being warmly greeted, actively listened to and being offered ongoing support. Some highlights included ‘I felt immediately welcome’, ‘she waited until a natural pause and gave me the information I needed, repeating the numbers twice’ and ‘lovely, positive language’. The shopping did show us some improvement areas and we will be working on our signage in the space, roving protocols and introducing a set schedule of mystery shopping across the year.

RCN library staff

Anna Semmens

Author of this guide

RCN Library and Archive Services

Page last updated - 05/09/2018