“What do you say?” How many hundreds of times did our growing toddler brains hear that question from our mothers as they taught us the importance of being polite and saying, “Thank you,” when we received something? For most of us it became an automatic response: someone hands you something, you say thank you.
I want you to break that habit right now, at least when you are mystery shopping. No, I am not saying you should be rude, but let’s take a look at how saying “thank you” can damage the integrity of your mystery shop report.
Most report forms will ask if the employee thanked you. The exact requirements vary, but some version of the question in on almost every report. So let’s imagine a scenario: You pay for your item, the cashier hands you a bag with the items you purchased, and you say, “Thank you.” Um, what is the employee going to say then? “No, thank YOU!” Probably not. “You’re welcome.” Good response, but not a thank you. Or maybe my personal favorite, “No problem.” Of course it is not a problem, it is his job.
When you make a purchase from a business, they are supposed to thank you for it. If you say thank you first, you change the dynamics of the interaction and make it harder for the employee to do what she is supposed to do.
You can not accurately and fairly answer the question, “Did the employee thank you?,” if you said thank you and the employee responded, “You’re welcome.” You can not answer yes, because he did not say thank you. However, it may be that he did not say thank you because of your error, so it is not fair to the employee to answer no to the question. N/A is only an appropriate answer when the question does not apply, so that isn’t a good choice, either. In this case, your error has affected the integrity of the shop.
How should you handle this error? If possible, ask your scheduler or someone else at the mystery shopping company how you should handle the situation. Many companies will tell you to answer yes to the question so that the employee and location do not lose points due to your error.
Make a conscious decision to stop the automatic thank yous, and start practicing today. Even when you are not mystery shopping, see if you can accept a bag from a cashier or food from a server without thanking them. Allow them to thank you for being their customer and giving them a job.