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  • Mystery Shops

    Have you ever been on the receiving end of a mystery shop? Tell us about it!
    13
    Yes
    61.54%
    8
    No
    38.46%
    5
    Amy Campbell
    Editor
    Inside Self-Storage
    [email protected]

    @AmyCampbell_ISS
    480.281.6091

  • #2
    Numerous times, by skilcheck and by Troy Downing when he wanted to buy the first property I worked at. All of the skilcheck ones I would have fun with. Most the sites they'd catch me at were near loud freeways so if I saw a big rig or something coming i'd have fun and tell them "let's wait for this to pass to make sure you hear me" as I knew they would be recording the audio. Then at the end I would tell them "have a fun day shopping!". I've never had a shop performed on me that I didn't realize what it was. But at the same time i'm the one who designed our mystery shop script for that storage company and reviewed all of the shops when they were turned in, so they stuck out pretty easily to me.

    The Troy Downing ones were pretty fun, especially if any of you know him or read his blog to get a sense of him. The first time I stopped him halfway through and told him i'm more than happy to keep showing him around like he's a customer or we could go back in to the office and go over what questions he really had. The second time after he bought the property he showed up and I gave him the same tour again, thankfully keeping a straight face when he told me his name was "Thor". Afterwards when we got back to the office and I asked "So any other questions Troy, or i'm sorry Thor" we had a bit of a laugh. He had a pretty big beard at that time and said he grew it just to try and sneak in on me. Not as fun as the hostile takeovers I did around the country with him but still good times

    Comment


    • #3
      Never have, so nothing to say about it. Could be interesting though. I welcome the chance.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
        Never have, so nothing to say about it. Could be interesting though. I welcome the chance.
        I almost stopped by you on my Salem trip but was so wore out I just wanted to get home. I even planned to print out some "save the nuggies" petition flyers to come in with to try and get you to sign!

        Comment


        • #5
          I know I have by competitors. They need to work on their game a little better and not drive the same vehicle that is parked outside their office every single day Since all of my prices are online anyways, I messed with them a little.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am also open to sharing info. I've got nothing to hide, so you want to "shop" me, just come in and introduce yourself and we will have a pleasant conversation. I've had 3 different owners do exactly that and we still talk to 2 of them to this day.

            Comment


            • #7
              I used to work for Skilcheck, so I was on the receiving end every month. I ALWAYS knew and would note it in the log! I was never wrong.

              I've also done many, many hours of being the shopper - both on the phone and in person. After a few hours in a day, you don't want to hear the basic script ever again!!! But I was trained well, and it was fun to come up with a story for the day about why I needed storage.
              MamaDuke

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MamaDuke View Post
                I used to work for Skilcheck, so I was on the receiving end every month. I ALWAYS knew and would note it in the log! I was never wrong.

                I've also done many, many hours of being the shopper - both on the phone and in person. After a few hours in a day, you don't want to hear the basic script ever again!!! But I was trained well, and it was fun to come up with a story for the day about why I needed storage.
                I've done shops and been with higher ups doing shops. I always laughed at my old DM who couldn't come up with a story that made sense. I always say just go with something you know. No reason to come up with some completely crazy story that makes no sense to you. I'm either moving to the area from out of town or helping an elderly relative move. If you're in a new area to you it's harder for them to catch you by you not knowing basics of the area this way. Most shoppers i've caught have been because they are nervous and can't keep a story straight.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I worked for corporate storage, we were shopped every month. If you scored 100% or better you received $25.00 and it made you eligible for the bonus program. It was very obvious if you were being shopped so we knew to make sure to cover all areas to score the highest points to get that money. Bad part was if you actually had an assistant or someone had to cover your location and they got shopped and failed, you would lose out on that quarterly bonus....we felt that wasn't fair, but you can't argue with corporate and win.
                  I've also been the shopper, being with a family owned facility in a different town, I went out and shopped the nearby facilities. The two corporate facilities both big names in storage (at least on the east coast) I definitely would of failed them. when I did this, it was at the beginning of the covid so I get things were totally different. One corporate place wouldn't let us in which I was fine with and understood, the manager basically yelled through the door any information I asked, was very difficult to hear and understand her. I did request to see a unit, she basically told me to go look at unit blah blah blah and sent me on my way. She gave no direction on where to go, and lets face it, some storage places are numbered very oddly, we basically drove around the property a few times trying to find the unit (perhaps a print out of a map of property would of been very useful). Once found, we did notice none of the unit doors were locked, unit was not swept out, and there was a brand new disk lock in the center of the floor. Just for haha's we opened the two unit doors next to it, again both units, not really swept out and another brand new disk lock in each unit. Seeing how we were alone, we just started snapping pics to show to my boss. I did not bother stopping in the office when leaving, But it was interesting seeing how other facilities were running during the covid.
                  The second corporate place, mostly just TC units, but much smaller, there was a sign on door stating one customer at time with mask and the open sign was lit up but doors locked. We knocked (whole front office was all glass) no answer. Even walked around to other office windows and tried knocking on the glass, still no answer and no sign or return time on door. As a manager who ran a facility alone, I understand that they may be on property doing other task so I sat in my car for a moment to wait. 10-15 mins pass, I decide to take a ride around the property to look for manager or office staff and found no one. I even opened the door to the TC bldg. and yelled hello, again no answer. This property has 1 bldg. so its not like there was much place the staff could be. I sat back in car, it was not lunch time so that was crossed off. So I than drove across the road to dunkin donuts to get a coffee when I returned, office door still locked, so decided to just call the property. Their call center answer, assured me someone was on the property. I explained I was on the property and it had been over 25 mins and there is literally no one else on the property. The call center became extremely aggressive in trying to rent to me now, I told this person, I would like to visually see the space as to confirm its the right size for me. The call center person continued to tell me, no worries, I'll move you into this unit, take your payment (larger unit than I was requesting to see) and when the manager returns they can switch me to a unit more to fit my needs. I explained that I was not comfortable paying for a unit that was double the size I was requesting to see and that the manager who is no where to still be found would get me in the right size... I basically told the person, I am not interested in renting over the phone and in fact I was no longer interested in renting at a facility where no one knows where the manager is. I literally felt mentally exhausted after ending the call.
                  Needless to say, I am so glad I no longer work for the big corporate greed storage companies, as I almost forgot how pushy and aggressive they make their employees seen to the consumers. From the customer's point of view, I felt rushed to make a decision, my objectives or concerns did not matter, they just wanted my money in what seemed like a bait and switch as the size I requested to see was available but call center kept pushing a unit twice the size onto me telling me it would not be a problem for the manager to switch me to a smaller unit when the manager returns (who knows maybe that manager wasn't coming back).
                  Currently I'm the only employee at the new place I'm at, so no mystery shops for me.... for now at least lol.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried running an auto repair shop once for a corporation. I grew to hate bean counters and their constant looking over the shoulder. PITA!

                    I then switched to mom and pop shops that only opened on Monday thru Friday and normal hours. They let me do my job and the shops flourished. Like I said earlier, never been mystery shopped but have had other facilities try getting my rates and came up with the wildest reasons for getting that info. I would let them get in the weeds and then say, "If you want my rates, all you have to do is ask. You don't have to play pretend". You could hear them let out a breath after realizing they did not have to keep up the charade.
                    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GM - StacieJ. - BSS View Post
                      One corporate place wouldn't let us in which I was fine with and understood, the manager basically yelled through the door any information I asked, was very difficult to hear and understand her. I did request to see a unit, she basically told me to go look at unit blah blah blah and sent me on my way. She gave no direction on where to go, and lets face it, some storage places are numbered very oddly, we basically drove around the property a few times trying to find the unit (perhaps a print out of a map of property would of been very useful). Once found, we did notice none of the unit doors were locked, unit was not swept out, and there was a brand new disk lock in the center of the floor. .
                      I cannot fathom a manager that is comfortable enough to allow a liability on their property without any other interaction other than yelling thru a door. Impossible to wrap my head around! Our office is open and fully functional, but for the 2 weeks we were locked in office due to COVID, I never did this! I have had a handful of potential tenants request to drive their own vehicles in our gates to look at the units, which we keep all vacant units locked (all units have one type of lock or another), I simply refuse. I usually walk them to the unit or if they insist or are unable to walk far, I will drive them in the golf cart. Who in their right mind would want someone on their property that they don't know from Adam?? Total irresponsibility and laziness *sigh*

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AngelaESSTX View Post

                        I cannot fathom a manager that is comfortable enough to allow a liability on their property without any other interaction other than yelling thru a door. Impossible to wrap my head around! Our office is open and fully functional, but for the 2 weeks we were locked in office due to COVID, I never did this! I have had a handful of potential tenants request to drive their own vehicles in our gates to look at the units, which we keep all vacant units locked (all units have one type of lock or another), I simply refuse. I usually walk them to the unit or if they insist or are unable to walk far, I will drive them in the golf cart. Who in their right mind would want someone on their property that they don't know from Adam?? Total irresponsibility and laziness *sigh*
                        My thoughts exactly.....We also keep all units locked...I was thinking, with this particular location which is also in a higher crime area....Not for nothing, and I understand its not of major value but for anyone perhaps without a place to live or something to eat, in need of drugs could very easily climb over the fence, throw open a few doors and now you have dozens of brand new unopened disk locks with a retail value of $14-20. My friend or myself could of just as easily pretended to fall down as it doesn't take a genius to find a blind spot for cameras. I would of never allowed anyone behind our gate without assistance as well. If a new move in is in a rush and refuses to go look where the unit is located, I at least provide them a copy of our sitelink map and circle their unit. But for a non tenant, I would not have done this either. We've been open the entire time through covid, if the customer felt comfortable enough to come in person, had their mask on, we welcomed them with open arms with a 6 ft. distance of course lol.....It was definitely interesting to see how other storage facilities were handling it, I've been in storage for 16 yrs but have never had to rent a storage unit myself so it was nice to see from the consumers point, not to mention things I noticed to make sure that I never do to potential tenants. The funny thing is we are brand new, just opened March 1st and so far I actually had 3 referrals from the manager herself sending ppl my way....LOL... I have called to give a friendly thank you for sending business my way but I did not tell her that we had actually already met when I shopped her facility. Perhaps she's a disgruntle employee and no longer cares about her job and so customer's are not her highest priority...But I have never referred a potential tenant to a competitor's facility......well hold on let me back up a bit...hahah unless I got a bad vibe or maybe they were just jerks so I may have pumped up the competitor to deter that particular person from renting at my place.....Anyhow whatever her reasoning.....been there done that...when you get to that point if you hate who you work for or just don't like your job, than time to move on....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had one last month. She came in, was pleasant but after she said she needed it for the middle of the next month as she was moving in with family, something about her screamed 'secret shopper'. I also put that in my log book-lol. She was looking for around a 10x13 but said she needed to save money-I asked her if she was using movers because if so she could get away with a slightly smaller and save money.
                          In her comments she said I was 'flat' and that I was 'pushing' the smaller size (excuse me for offering options).
                          I've done them in the past as well.
                          Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

                          WA State

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                          • #14
                            We get them at least once a month on the phone, not sure how often they come in person. I've only had one in person that I now about, they came about 2 months after I started working here and said I was pleasant and they could tell I liked my job. I got a 94% on that one. I usually get between 90 to 98% on the secret shop calls depending on who is grading it. The last 2 years in a row our store has won the award for Skillcheck Mystery shops for the entire year out of 23 different stores. This year I'm a little less enthused about it because I have had a recorded customer call that our company listened in on. They marked very low- they only heard the call, not the other side of the story where that person had come in to the office and I already told him he could not park an RV in the parking lot to live in for a few days while they get their stuff sorted out for a storage unit! I was ticked because they gave me a 82% and did not care to hear my reasons why I would not rent to this person. So, I know that they can be flawed in their grading.
                            You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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