Monday, August 10, 2009

Ghana Hall of Shame, August 2009

I had the priviledge of working in a major department store whilst working my way through college. It was a priviledge for me because if I had worked in a donut shop, I probably would weigh a ton by now considering my love for donuts.
I personally know customer service agents can't be perky all day, every day. However, when you sign-up for a task, you buckle up and do the very best.

One thing that kept us, customer service agents, on our toes during our work shifts was "The Mystery Shopper". The company would hire random people and send them to different stores to shop. We the sales associates and customer service agents never knew who these people were, but we knew this was a method the company used.
Nobody wanted to get bad reviews from a "Mystery Shopper" so we were pleasant to everyone and did our jobs very well.

I am hoping this site will be the "Mystery Shopper" at service oriented institutions in Ghana, where no individual or institution would want their name up here too many times.

My plan is to personally call the HR dept of any institution that gets mentioned here several times, and make them aware of issues customers have with them.
I believe that will lead to change.

Please share your stories


  1. That sounds like a super idea. It's about time we improved the quality of our customer service.

  2. I hear one of the Bank managers of the new banks in Ghana pulled a "Mystery Shopper" situation where he wore a disguise and went to the banking hall as a regular customer and eventually fired some bank tellers after his experience. Maybe someone should start a "Mystery Shopper" consulting business for companies in GH. Anyone?

  3. I applaud that manager for his approach. That sends a message to his staff to do their work well when they show up to work.
    That is one thing we should demand of ourselves in order to be productive as a country.


    I have wanted to see someone take up this mantel properly as I too worked in the service industry abroad and know the value of mystery shoppers and how well the system works! I put the suggestion out there on my blog aeons ago and am glad that someone is finally going to do it properly.

    I would love to help out in any way I can as I know that this works in Ghana (I write reviews for restaurants from time-to-time and believe me there is nothing like the eye opening response you get from a bad review being printed publicly for the whole world to see).

    You can contact me at: for a nice long chat on the subject.

  5. Certainly! We will all pitch-in and bring about some change. I'll be in touch

  6. I think building customer service is a whole organizational culture thing, it has to be completely ingrained in your company culture and process. It has to be the message your company spews and acts on each day.
    What I mean by this is, if your company truly
    believes in customer service, 1. recruitment - hire people who embody that trait, whose experience, and interests align with it 2. train them constantly and consistently to provide excellent customer service 3. performance mgt - reward those who exhibit your desired behaviors, acknowledge it on a regular basis and not one-off 4. external messaging - all your ads, PR should align with customer service if that is what you really believe in 5. internal messaging - your internal comms channels, emails, posters, everything must emphasize customer service.
    What I am saying is its a whole organizational culture and behavior thing. Its great to attack customer service agents, but the bigger culprits are the organizations themselves, the senior executives themselves.
    Can you start from there? Go get em Mike.
    Obviously you can tell I'm an organizational psychologist :)

  7. Thanks Boakyewaa for your valuable input. I agree with you on all 5 points you listed. I believe that when a senior executive of, for example, a bank gets an email from this site and comes to read the horror stories of customers at that bank, they will start taking customer service seriously to avoid bad press. They will then do more to make it part of the company's culture.
    This approach is to let the customer service agents as well as the executives know that the people demand better service.

  8. Oh goodness, mystery shoppers. Reminds me of my days at Payless.