It’s easy to cast off a complaint as an isolated incident. I see it happen all the time. Yet, it’s important to remember that for every one person who speaks up, over a dozen remain silent. People don’t like confrontation so it often takes a lot for them to speak up. When they do, it’s important to listen and learn. And don’t assume that a lack of complaints or proof means you’re doing a great job.
What I have found over my years in the patient experience space is that many, if not most of us, need proof that there’s really a problem. That was the main driver in creating our mystery shopping methodology. Many people need to see proof. It’s human nature. So, when we were recently called upon to assess how well one organization was doing with even the most basic customer service behaviors, they were blown away to read the stories shared by over a dozen mystery shoppers in an eight week period. Less than 10% of the encounters were up to their own standards.
In this situation, one story alone would not have satisfied their leaders. In fact, when presented with one example, two of the leaders literally shrugged it off as isolated incidents. When we kept on going, the next ten encounters proved that wasn’t the case at all. Additional examples, gathered on different days with different situations, provided more than enough to confirm that new actions were needed.
Mystery shopping is a valuable tool for making believers out of skeptics.