Hotels are desperate to get data about what happens on the phone.
They need that information. They need information about callers. But more importantly, they need to know how well call centers and front desk GSRs are handling phone calls.
Hotels care about this so much that they hire mystery-shopping companies to figure it out.
Hotels will hire a mystery shopping company to call their property. These mystery shoppers will call the hotel and pretend. They pretend that they are interested in booking a reservation. They pretend that they are interested in amenities from the property. They even pretend that they are going to book a room.
This entire act, this facade, this play and fake phone call, is conducted to give the hotel data about how the employee handles the call.
Here’s the problem: mystery shopping–the whole interaction–is fake. No real data can be gleaned from something fake.
Conducting sales training based on mystery shopping is like trying to train a police force based on scenes in The Dark Knight. Real training from fake data doesn’t work.
Mystery shopping is going to die. And that’s a good thing for everyone.
Because call recording is better — and it is cheaper.
Mystery shopping is fake. Call recording, on the other hand, is real. Hotels and sales trainers can actually hear real callers and they can hear how employees really handle those callers.
Mystery shopping doesn’t provide data. Before you start arguing with me, think about it. It is a logical impossibility for mystery shopping to provide data. The entire interaction is staged. It is not possible for real data to derive from a staged interaction. Call recording, on the other hand, can provide data about how often employees use certain skills, close rates, and even how frequently callers ask about certain features, rooms, and competitors.
Mystery shopping wastes time. Your employees spend several minutes on calls with mystery shoppers. This is time spent on a call with a fake ‘customer’ that will never reserve a room. It is utterly and completely wasted time. It is a charade. Call recording, on the other hand, doesn’t waste a bit of time. All of the interactions are real.
Mystery shopping is easy to detect. You think your employees don’t know when someone is mystery shopping them? They know. We used to conduct mystery shopping before we developed Convirza, and we estimate that over 50% the employee knew they were being shopped. This means the data is even worse.
Mystery shopping is expensive. Most mystery shopping companies charge between $15 and $35 for a mystery shopping call. That is astronomically higher than it costs to record a call. Most of our clients end up with call recordings that are less than 10 cents a call. Even recorded and scored calls are only $8 – $12 each. The price difference is not even close.
So we return to our question: why are hotels still doing mystery shopping if call recording is better and cheaper?
I don’t know. No idea. If you know the answer, please write it in the comments below.