Getting an employee’s name during a mystery shop can seem like a difficult task, but with some quick thinking and a friendly approach, it need not be hard at all.
For most shops, you are required to describe the employee (nicely) and let the client know with which of their staff you interacted. Identification of the individual assists our client to acknowledge those who are doing an excellent job and to assist those employees who are not ‘up to speed’ with additional training and coaching.
If they are wearing a legible name tag on their chest, knowing who you are working with is not a problem. Just make sure you take note of their name. (Trust that many shoppers tell us there was a name, but they didn’t get it. That is a requirement!)
Sometimes, however, that is not quite as easy as it sounds. The employee may have their tag on a lanyard, which is hanging low, making it appear that you are looking at them inappropriately or the tag is backwards, making it impossible to read.
There are many businesses where name tags are not used at all. You need to rely on an introduction or a receipt with a name on it.
Should an employee without a name tag assist you there are several discreet tactics that you can use to obtain a name.
If it is an interaction involving a discussion about a product or a service and the employee has not introduced themselves, introduce yourself – and ask their name. “By the way, my name is Nancy – and yours?” This ‘familiarity’ can bring the interaction to a different level.
If you have gone through an exchange of information or a transaction and you still do not have the person’s name, try “Thank you so much! What is your name? I’d like to let management know what a great job you are doing.” Or “I want to be sure to ask for you next time I come in here.”
There are times you find yourself in a particular store or establishment where you know the person is just not going to be that outgoing, so you might pretend that you recognize them. “Charlie, right? Aren’t you friends with my friend Bill?” When they say no, you can ask, “What is your name? I don’t want to think of you as Charlie.” Or “You remind me so much of my Aunt Suzy. Your name isn’t Suzy, is it?”
Identifying the employee is part of your job. Have the ‘tools’ ready to think on your feet and make sure you get the name of the person! Who knows – you may make a new friend!
Do you have technique for getting names during mystery shops? Or remembering them? Please share in the comments sections below.