Mystery Shopper

Elle works as a checkout person at a supermarket in Sydney. From the moment you approach her register you are greeted by her broad beam and an attitude that exudes positivity. Elle excels at what her job’s purpose is all about, helping customers pay for their shopping in a friendly and efficent manner. Elle told me that she treats each and every of her customers as if they were a mystery shopper. A mystery shopper, she explained, is someone a company sends to impersonate customers in order to evaluate its employees’ performance and customer service. Elle wants to be promoted to a store manager by the end of 2012. Because she knows what she wants and she is actively pursuing the actions required to get her there, she is well on her way to achieving her goal. On top of all, Elle has an attitude of positive expectations. She believes that she will become a store manager by the end of the year. As a result, it is a pleasure dealing with Elle and I can see how I would choose to wait longer at her checkout or drive farther to go to the supermarket where she works for the sake of that extra smile and genuinely helpful attitude. I would even go to the pleasure of taking time out of my day to fill in a customer feedback form to say to the management how nice Elle was.

Now what if everyone in every aspect of their lives treated other people as if they were mystery shoppers. What if, for whatever motivating factor, we approached every situation in our lives as if we would be evaluated on our attitude, words and behaviour. The what if part of the question is not a utopian concept. If it were, there would be no successful people in the world we could compare ourselves with.

One thing is for sure, if we link our goals to a feedback mechanism or something related to our execution of achieving those goals, something which has a potential to cause us an unpleasant experience if we fail to do it, not only will we effort less towards making our goals a reality, but in the process we will become empowered to grow and achieve further goals in line with our vision.

To quote Tony Robbins, “If you can’t, you must. And if you must, you can.”

How many checkout staff or indeed retail sales people are quite the opposite to what Elle is like. One can spot a nugget of gold in a pile of mud even on a cloudy day. It is not hard to see why success is reached by some, and it eludes so many. It takes being consistent and disciplined in applying ourselves to the purpose we wish to accomplish to achieve it. What if we were to treat our partners, our parents, our children, our friends, our neighbours, our co-workers and every living entity in the world as if they were a mystery shopper? Not everyone does, and yet every single one of us is capable of doing this.

For Elle, it may be a natural disposition, for some it will be a transformational process. Whatever we call it – personal development, self help, religion or faith, the outcome will be the same. By always expecting a positive evaluation from every person we come into contact with, we will bring about greater good and value to other human beings and the world at large and in the process become capable of fulfilling our own life’s purpose.

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