SYNOPSIS: Our client wanted to monitor the quality of service provided to its citizens from this regional government various agencies. The evaluation of services covered all departments to include animal shelter and library services.
Mystery shops were conducted with in-person visits and recorded telephone calls. The client's focus was that the employee of each department was knowledgeable of their department procedures, providing their citizens with accurate information in a timely manner.
PROCESS: Scenarios were developed for each department. Some of the scenarios were:
- Library: I am interested in learning French. What resources do you have to assist me?
- I am interested in renting a pavilion for a birthday party. How do I go about that?
- How do I go about applying for Homestead Exemption?
- I am moving to your area soon. What is needed to get water service started at my new residence?
RESULTS: Results initially started around the mid to low 80's. Results have increased from low to mid 90's.
FOLLOW-UP: The client has developed and instituted additional training and revamp procedures in areas where employees scored low. Citizen satisfaction scores have increased.
Retail Specialty Stores
SYNOPSIS: A Customer's Point of View was contracted by a picture framing company that had space in all stores of a major retailer but for all intents and purposes ran the picture framing department for several retailers. Outwardly, the picture framing company was just the framing department of the retailers. The client contacted us because they were having problems with decreased sales in stores and believed there were problems in the stores that consisted of lack of sales skills and suggestive selling. In addition, several complaints were coming in about the quality of their product and errors in ordering. Again, the client felt there were issues and errors with ordering placement by store personnel. Mystery shoppers started visiting the stores and were instructed to also bring color ideas, furniture or fabric swatches so that their framing would complement the room it was being placed in.
PROCESS: The store clerk placed the orders for the materials to be used in the framing and sent it to the corporate warehouse who would fulfill the order and send the materials to the stores so that the in-store framers would frame items for customers.
RESULTS: Mystery shopping reports revealed that while the store framers were great at framing, they were absolutely horrible at suggestive selling and did not possess basic sales skills. In addition, many of the mystery shoppers noted in their reports that the frames and/or matting that they received were not the ones that they had selected. This resulted in the mystery shopper having to wait another three to four weeks for the correct materials to be sent to the store in order to have the framing redone. When the client reviewed the reports, they viewed the orders that were incorrect and determined that the framers at the stores were ordering the correct materials-it was the corporate warehouse that was fulfilling the orders incorrectly by sending the wrong materials to the store.
FOLLOW-UP: (1) The client instituted a training program for its in-store staff that included customer service, selling skills, upselling and decorating/design. (2) The client revamped and developed a new ordering and warehouse system in order to cut down on errors and loss from incorrect orders. (3) The client reviewed and revamped their HR hiring policy to include not only hiring for framing skills but also adding competency testing for customer service/people skills.
SYNOPSIS: Our client, a transit agency was dealing with a several complaints from passengers to include:
- No announcements
- Rude operators
- Inappropriate conversations by paratransit operators
- Late time performance
- Drivers using cell phones/Bluetooth
PROCESS: ACPVIEW had mystery riders conduct rides during the system's operating hours to determine the quality of the passenger's ride.
- It was determined by the rides that there was not a problem with passbys.
- There was a serious problem with announcements not being made either by the operators or the automated systems. When announcements were made, they were not clear and at times not in order or timely. By providing the bus number in our reports, the client notified their bus division who re-programmed and updated the automated system software on each bus found to be in violation.
- Rude operators were a very small number to include operators having inappropriate conversations with passengers or using cell phones or asking passenger with disabilities questions about their disability.
- On-time performance was an issue due to traffic and weather and late departures. The client adjusted their times and re-trained operators on on-time departures.
RESULTS/FOLLOW-UP: (1) Through our reports, the client was immediately able to determine which bus or rail cars automated announcement systems needed repair or software upgrades and forwarded that information to the appropriate department within days of the ride. (2) Information on rides were immediately forwarded to various transit management companies that managed the various modes of transportation in reference to bad driver behavior for disciplinary action. (3) ADA violations complaints decreased as our client was immediately able to conduct corrective action.