When the leasing office is busy, there may be times that the office team cannot handle all the guest traffic. In fact, they may not even realize a maintenance person had stepped in to help a customer until after the prospect has come and gone. Yes, when a customer wanders into the office only to find that everyone is out on tour and only one of the maintenance associates happens to have stopped into the office, guess what might happen.
You could end up mystery shopping the maintenance man.
Since the maintenance personnel do not typically go through leasing training, this particular mystery shopping experience can be a real eye-opener for the management company – they might them take another look at the maintenance team and what all training they are being exposed to on the off chance this situation might occur.
The customer wants the best possible experience including a thorough presentation of the community that answers their questions and solves their housing needs. The team member responsible for assisting customers – leasing staff or otherwise – is representing the community and the management company. It makes sense that even those associates who don’t normally tour prospective residents should have a basic understanding of what to do in the rare case that they have to assist a guest who is interested in leasing an apartment there.
As a shopper, the experience is a bit more planned out and we generally have an understanding of who our target agent is and what to expect based on our experience with the agent over the telephone. Because things don’t always go as anticipated though – perhaps our target agent has gone home sick for the day or is still assisting another customer, or whatever the case may be – mystery shopping the maintenance man can happen!
Because many shoppers don’t quite know how best to report their mystery shopping experience when the target agent is not present, here are a few important things to remember:
- Regardless of who ends up taking you on the tour, the direction remains the same – to report the entire mystery shopping experience and provide the requested information based on your overall experience.
- Not all maintenance personnel are versed in the greeting and qualifying process and might provide you with the business card of someone in the leasing office – it is important that you get their name to record on your mystery shopping report.
- Because most maintenance personnel have an incredibly heavy workload – one that does not generally involve them in community tours – some items on the report will likely be missed or not covered, making it difficult to record substantial narrative. Report everything that happens and try to remember as much of the communication that goes on between the two of you as possible.
- Be sure to make note on your report any information you are able to obtain as to ‘why’ the maintenance associate is conducting the tour. Be sure to document what you are told and how the associate described the circumstances to you.
- Just because you end up touring with someone other than your target agent does not mean that the mystery shopping report is invaluable to the management company. Maintenance personnel are the people who residents trust inside of their apartments – they should be more than capable of assisting prospective residents at any given moment if that need should arise.
As shoppers, whatever we report to the management company is invaluable, so give it your best even when you end up mystery shopping the maintenance man.