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Shell's Global Mystery Motorist - Ensuring consistent customer satisfaction

Published:Tuesday | May 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Carmen Walton, who spearheads the Shell Mystery Motorist campaign, pays keen attention to the events at the recent Chairman's Award in St Ann. To her left is Shell Upper Waterloo Road dealer Pollyanna Brown. - Contributed

Customer service at Shell service stations islandwide has significantly improved, and it is due largely to the Shell Global Mystery Motorist Survey (MMS) implemented by the organisation. Speaking with The Gleaner last Friday, Carmen Walton, global operations manager for Shell, said the mystery motorist programme is designed to measure quality of service.

"Since its inception in 2006, it has evolved with input from all agencies and field work. We are now moving to becoming more customer focused and concentrate on what the customer wants," Walton said.

There are parameters in place such as gender and age range and selection of mystery motorists is done from a pool of available and suitable persons, so there is a good mix . "We recruit by making phone calls, advertise in newspapers or magazines, get databases from companies or have people sign up on our website to apply become mystery motorists," Walton noted.

In order to obtain accurate information on the service stations, mystery motorists receive training and tests so they understand how to complete the scoresheets and reports. They receive local and global certification for their participation. Training is tailored to meet global as well as local specifications. Mystery motorists are not allowed to reveal themselves to the stations they visit.

"Many mystery motorists remain in the programme forever; some are professional, doing mystery shopping for us as well as other organisations for a living," Walton said. They are reimbursed for all their related expenses and can earn anywhere between US$10-30 per report, as well as money for petrol or other items bought at the stations. In Jamaica, the programme is going good so far, Walton said. They are working to get the scores over 80 per cent. "We also encourage mystery motorists to send pictures of the locations and comments on what happens during a visit, to get a more accurate picture of the dealer's performance."

Pump attendants at service stations that score 100 points receive cash incentives for their efforts. This encourages them to offer even better quality of service to customers.

The Global Mystery Motorist programme is an ongoing audit that checks each Shell site every quarter for certain established retail criteria, including levels of customer service, housekeeping, and safety . Only three regions in the Shell world have been able to achieve the highest score before this.