Feb 26, 2010

It seems to be the nature of construction that things happen in spurts. We went from no wall to have wall in no time flat. Since then things have slowed considerably. We have had two rain days, so it may be an illusion about the slowing.

 This is Francisco jackhammering up the sidewalk and entry area.  They removed all of the old concrete.


This is what the former front walk looks like this morning.  That is a pile of sand that is laid down before the pavers are placed.


On Wednesday a guy showed up to apply the finish coat to the stucco.  The texture is called Spanish Lace and it matches the house.

But enough about that.

I got into a disagreement with the boss at work over their use of a "secret shopper".  Once a month a spy comes in pretending to be a customer.  The idea is that they can randomly see how things are going from a customer point of view.

The flaw with the system, at least in my mind, is that it is artificial.  The shopper is a minimum wage dummy with a checklist of things they are looking for.  Plus they aren't really buying anything, so they aren't a customer, with real expectations.  

If you think about it, the secret shopper is being paid to find things wrong, human nature being what it is.   What company would continue to employ a shopper who consistently reported that things were just swell?  They have an incentive to find stuff wrong, it seems to me.

I suggested that rather than pay a company to provide a "shopper", why not pay someone to call actual customers and ask them about their recent experience.  Pull the names of 10 real people who shopped last month and ask them how we did.  Better yet, invite them to lunch to talk about their thoughts.

The answer?  The secret shopper is the best way to do it. 

I wouldn't give a crap, but when the secret shopper report is bad, they give us grief and who needs grief?

It seems to me that most of the time the ownership of our store is trying to not mess up, rather than trying to improve.  But hey, I'm just a part time dummy.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Kurt said...

The guy at our hardware store is weird.

Bella Rum said...

love the updates. can't wait to see the finished project.

Barbara said...

Your idea is a much better way to find out what they want to know. People just naturally resist change, especially when it is not initiated by them. It would be really interesting to run a parallel test using a secret shopper and a sample of real shoppers and see how the two match up. I'm sure that wouldn't go over any better with your management!

Wait a minute! The problem is that thinking is not in your job description, is it?

alphabet soup said...

I would be wanting to know why they think the secret shopper is best.
Ms Soup

Steve said...

I think "trying not to mess up" is most people's idea of success, don't you?

Annie Ha said...

My company is the same way - tries not to mess up rather than tries not to improve. Very frustrating.