How to Coach an Employee after a Bad Mystery Shop

No one likes to tell someone else they’ve done a poor job or received a bad mystery shop. It’s one of those things most managers never get used to having to do.

Which is why mystery shopping is an excellent, non-biased way to be able to start a discussion with a less than stellar employee. (It’s also a great way to acknowledge those excellent employees too!)

Starting the discussion after a mystery shop has been performed provides you with written observations from a third party. The third party being a potential or actual customer.

The report isn’t your opinion or observations of their co-workers. It is of a real interaction. A great basis for a real discussion on what went right and what did not.

Three Tips to Use When Coaching an Employee

In the video below, three tips are shared (plus a bonus!) on how to start the discussion, listen and coach and counsel an employee who performed poorly during a mystery shop.

A quick recap of what to do when coaching an employee:

  1. Don’t wait for the right Schedule time immediately after the report is received. This is true for good and poor mystery shops.
  2. Most employees want to do well. Acknowledge that everyone has a bad day. Explain why top performance and excellent customer service matters every single day/
  3. Allow the employee to explain. Know they will be defensive & full of excuses for their behavior, but do truly listen. Then emphasize how important good service is for customer retention.

Ask the employee how they can fix the problem – and offer your support to help in any way.

BONUS TIP: Schedule another mystery shop to follow up and review with the employee in 4 to 6 weeks.

Whether good or bad, share the results of the mystery shops with your employees. It shows that they are valuable to your organization, customer service is a priority and that you want to use them to help your staff develop and grow.

How have you approached your employees about mystery shops? Please share below.

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One Reply to “How to Coach an Employee after a Bad Mystery Shop”

  1. In addition to doing what you have recommended above, I encourage my clients to use the discussion of the shop report to launch a set of behavioral changes agreed upon for each person. These include:
    1. Actions they do well, so want to continue and even enhance
    2. Actions they need to change or start doing to improve performance
    3. Actions to stop doing as they are not effective or simply not best practice.

    This list is a good basis for reviewing follow up shop reports, allowing managers to congratulate employees on tangible improvements and work on those actions still needing training or support.

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