Are you using "secret shoppers"? You should.

Every time I call my haircut place to make an appointment, I have the same experience. The person taking the call can’t hear me (because it’s so loud in the salon) and they have to ask me to repeat everything I say once or twice. It’s incredibly frustrating, like I’m talking to a three year old. I’d be willing to bet they’ve never used a secret shopper there.

The concept of a “secret shopper” is simple: Someone poses as a customer and “shops” your organization in order to better understand the experience the customer is receiving.

Consider these questions:

  • Do you know what it’s like to call your association?
  • Do you know what it’s like to try to join, or register for an event, on your website?
  • Do you know how long it takes your staff to respond to inquiries?

These are all things that a secret shopper can help you determine. We all think our service is great and that the customer experience with our organization is wonderful. But there’s really no way to know that without experiencing it ourselves, first hand. That’s what a secret shopper can do for you.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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