Reps Become Secret Shoppers

The highlight of the weeklong celebration at Cambrex Corporation was a special activity, which turned frontline reps into customers and gave them an opportunity to benchmark their service against other organizations.

Supervisor Tom Shifflett describes the benchmarking program as an eye-opening experience for the customer service team. Here’s how it worked:

Reps were divided into teams of two and given a list of items to purchase. Then, the entire department went to a local mall. But this was no ordinary shopping trip, as reps had to follow these rules:

  • Only one item may be purchased per store.
  • Each person on the team must purchase each item.
  • A salesperson must be consulted at each store.
  • A customer service evaluation form must be completed for each store.

Later, the entire team met to review their completed evaluation forms, to discuss areas where improvement could be made, and to determine lessons learned that they could transfer to their own operations.

While the Cambrex team chose to shop in the local mall, this eye-opening event could just as easily be adapted to telephone or online shopping.

And just in case you’re wondering what happened with all those items that were purchased — they were given to the reps as thank-you gifts!

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