Introduction This research is aimed at monitoring of the consistency of procedures and processes that are used in various organisations for delivery of service. This will allow evaluation of a sample of service delivery, the knowledge of the products and services from a reliable and an independent source in order to achieve the following objectives: Improving services to the customersEnsuring that the outlets are in compliance with established guidelinesRewarding the staff. Mystery shopping is form of participant observation which uses researchers in order to deceive customer-service personnel to believe that they are serving potential or real customers.
The application of such technique is growing throughout the world where according to Wilson (1998), it is valued around $ 30-45 million dollar annually. In modern business, there is a need for specific information on performance and this stems from the rising emphasis in regard to service performance by managers. Although service standards are set by senior management, delivering of such standards is placed on individual employees who interact with the customers directly. The performance of such employees can vary from time to time; therefore, such variations can have a major impact on the satisfaction of customers.
Bateson (1992) noted that the experience of customer during service delivery is crucial to customer satisfaction since it is the benefit provided by the service. There are three interactions during service performance: customer versus physical technical resources; customer versus contact personnel; and customer versus consumers. For successful service delivery management, there is a need for coordination of these interactions and supporting them with relevant personnel, procedures and system (Segal-Horn, 1988). For a service quality loop to be effective, continuous linking of standards, training, employee performance and reward mechanisms is required.
Traditionally, the approached failed in provision of sufficient detail whether there is deliverance of predetermined service standards. However, recent developments can monitor certain operational standards. The challenge is to measure behavioural aspects. It is only the mystery shopping that have the potential to measure service performance directly across a full range of preset quality standards (Leeds, 1995). This research report involves an evaluation of service delivery of Costa Coffee Club and Starbucks coffee house in UK using mystery shopper.
The two business offer hot and cold beverages in various locations in UK and they are primarily known for selling coffee and are expanding to new markets and products. The evaluation will provide information with regard to the experience of customers and the compliance of the staff in these firms. The results of mystery shopper will provide information for comparison of the two firms in regard to customer service and workforce performance. It can be used to evaluate your company’s customer service, to benchmark your workforce’s performance, or to verify the effectiveness of changes in your company’s procedures.
MethodologyOur methodology provides an opportunity to maintain high-level of consistency in reporting, a factor that has been a weakness historically. The recruitment of shoppers is based on the needs of specific client. Mystery shoppers are provided with specific guidelines in order to follow during their assignment. In that way, the reports are objective irrespective of the subjective opinion of an individual about the business.