Some of the most interesting mystery shopping stories come out of the U.K. We have seen news reports about extreme mystery shopping, mystery worshippers, and now police departments are being mystery shopped.
I have to admit that the headline, “Police search for mystery shoppers,” got my attention. My first thought was, “What did the mystery shoppers do?” But, no, the mystery shoppers are not on the lam. In fact, the Thames Valley Police Department is >looking for citizen volunteers to evaluate the service provided by the staff at local police stations.
Volunteer mystery shoppers will be given a variety of scenarios to use when visiting the police stations, but none will involve making a false police report or other dodgy activities. And, no, you do not have to get arrested as part of the mystery shop.
In addition to interacting with the staff, the secret shoppers will be asked to comment on other issues commonly found on mystery shopper reports, such as cleanliness, waiting times and whether opening hours are clearly displayed. (Uh, does that mean that the police department closes down part of the day? Must be a quiet town.)
Kelly Axtell, force counter services manager, said: “Most people don’t visit a police station often, some only when they have been a victim of crime or had a collision for example, and it is vital people are treated in a polite and professional manner, especially when they may be upset.”
That certainly shows an understanding of the importance of providing good service to their citizen customers. And that is what mystery shopping is really all about.