Is mystery shopping over?

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Maybe some of the ships could be renovated, relocated, and repurposed as housing or hotel space. Maybe not for 4000 people-- the windowless interior rooms and restaurants would have to go.
Like houseboats on steroids?

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
I dunno, a floating casino might be cool. Maybe leave the restaurants and get rid of the windowless interior rooms. Or, how about an assisted living facility?
Before covid19, there was the phenom of elders selling their homes and living on cruise ships. They would embark on around-the-world cruise ships and stay onboard as they made their way from continent to continent, hemisphere to hemisphere. So many elders were doing this that those cruise lines began accommodating them with special accessible rooms set aside, etc. Some were even using cruise ships as substitutes for assisted living:

[www.aplaceformom.com]

That's how I remembered that it was possible for some people to actually live on a cruise ship. But I'm thinking for the post covid19 era they might be useful for a range of ages.
It might be more fun for seniors to have it all to themselves instead of a range of ages. Then no one would get woke up late at night by the 20 somethings next door partying all night, they could play bingo and other games in some of the bigger rooms and listen to Frank Sinatra all they want with no rap or pop music, etc.
Yes, sort of like a non-sailing floating senior community. There could also be ships for a range of ages, too. Imagine being a kid raised on one.
My mom would have looked over top of her readers, leveled her bluer-than-the bluest-sea eyes and said, "That is interesting" in the same tone of voice she used when we were shopping for clothes and I found something that was puzzling or just downright unsuitable. Then, she would have gone back to her reading, or whatever else she was doing.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
"Somehow we just don't make the same boisterous fun of Holy Week that we do of Christmas. No one plans to have a holly, jolly Easter". - Frederica Mathewes-Green

Shop-et-al---about your tagline: no one is going to think that Jesus' dying should be holly jolly, even if he did come back from the dead. A baby's birth is definitely more jolly. Just sayin'.
I will tell Frederica that you said so.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
Didn't realize you knew her. But okay, please do. I know she thinks she's humorous, but...not everyone finds her entertaining.
Mmm?

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
Ahem Jas, if they turn those cruise ships into senior ships like you envision they better hurry up. Even 10-12 years ago when my mom lived in a senior residence I told them they better change before I am old enough to get there. And I am getting closer every birthday...not to an assisted living place as those are usually for the upper years but for just a senior living which can start somewhere around 55 or 60. Frank Sinatra, yes some still like him but how about the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and other 60's bands for music. Bingo? I don't think so. Little cups of applesauce for dinner? with small cartons of milk and meatloaf? I think these places need to rethink big time for the current crop of 60 something people.

Anyway, on topic of this thread, I just received an email from Albatross saying they have practically closed down their American operations for now. They do not expect much work for an "extended" time.
In answer to the poster who thought that people would be rushing out to shop once the stay at home restrictions are off, I think that will be muted in many of the bigger states. California has already said that things will open up in steps. They fear a second cycle if they open everything up again. China is beginning to have an uptick in new cases since they lifted many of their restrictions just a short time ago. Especially the high risk people are not going to run out and shop willy nilly if there is still a high number or positive people out there even if it is less than yesterday's numbers. Once retail and restaurants are back they will have to do a lot mop up in their business before they get around to a mystery shop program. Many will have to build up their reserve funds again before taking on an expense like that.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

It might be more fun for seniors to have it all to themselves instead of a range of ages. Then no one would get woke up late at night by the 20 somethings next door partying all night, they could play bingo and other games in some of the bigger rooms and listen to Frank Sinatra all they want with no rap or pop music, etc.
I actually was thinking of people in their 80s and 90s. My mom lived on her own up until she got sick and went into the hospital. She was 88.

Ahem Sandy, I love Frank Sinatra but not a fan of the Rolling Stones much. I do love the Beatles. And I enjoy playing bingo. Applesauce, meatloaf, and milk? What, are you thinking of 1st to 3rd grade elementary school? Those items weren't on the menu at my husband's grandmother's retirement place. We used to go visit her all the time and have lunch with her. They had a sit down dining room with linen napkins and tablecloths where they ordered off a menu. The wait staff wore black slacks and white collared shirts with black vests. They had a really nice mixed greens salad that I used to get, along with a choice of soup that is comparable to the stuff you'd get at Olive Garden. Dinner was equally good.

I am guessing you must be thinking of some ramshackle nursing home, not a nice assisted living or retirement home. If they were going to renovate a cruise ship into assisted living, I imagine it would be a little more upscale than what you are thinking.
In a big city the retirement homes are quite pricey. My mom was fortunate enough to live in a pricey one. We checked on a few before she moved in because she loved food and was still able to do almost everything including eating almost everything. We found one that had a menu of three main dishes every night to choose from or you could request from the kitchen. The others we looked at had a one item menu or you could get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Even her place had a choice of three veggies each night,...every single night for the three years or so she lived there two of the three veggies were white potato or sweet potato. The third could be a green veg or rice sometimes. That place had a huge wonderful salad bar but my mom was pretty much the one who used it. The others would ask the waitstaff to make a salad for them. In any The hallwaysall of these places were $4,000 and up a month. Yes the main dishes were good. But many of the places I read about or visited with my mom when she visited friends who could not afford $5000 a month had much less appetizing menus. Her place had good food. Many places including the senior centers in Los Angeles still serve apple sauce and milk cartons every day. Yes those living on ships are the wealthier ones but prob would not work well for assisted living unless they restructured the whole ship. I recently read about this as they were offered cruise ships to turn into hospitals across the country but they said even if people were able to get their mind wrapped around using a cruise ship where viruses have been rampant the rooms and hallways are all too small to accommodate the equipment they would need to serve the patients and if using as an assisted living alternative they would certainly need bigger spaces. Most of the assisted living (those people who need assistance due to health issues) have ambulances pulling up on a regular and frequent basis.
So maybe not for assisted living, or what we call assisted living in california, but for senior residences like where my mom lived where you needed to not need any assistance but they did provide meals and entertainment.
Maybe we could re-watch 'Out to Sea'...

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
@Flash wrote:

My view of this is that it will be a long time before we establish what a 'new normal' will be and companies consider where to go from there. Locally the indication is that we should peak around mid-May with the virus here, but that is far from it being over. . . that is just that numbers of new cases per day/week are no longer getting larger. The government is not going to be able to keep up with handouts for 6-12 months and $1200 per person is not going to go very far in the greater scheme of things. The piper will have to be paid and whomever is elected in November will have to face the flood of red ink that can only be resolved with taxes exceeding expenditures for services including servicing the debt.

My guesstimate is that about a third to half of MSCs will fold. The principals may re-emerge at a later date as a new company. My guesstimate is that a large number of franchisees will go out of business because they were already struggling in a good economy with the franchiser just wanting more and more from them. Many of the clients we shop are franchisees. My guess is that we are looking at 2-3 years at least before shop opportunities return to the levels of 2019.

I agree. Very realistic post.
As long as there are companies and customers, there will be mystery shoppers to review customer service, quality and honesty
One would hoppe. But not realistic. Many clients are trying to pay their employees and lease/utilities on their buildings. Mystery shopping programs are an unnecessary expense.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Mystery shopping programs are an unnecessary expense.
I agree. Many struggling companies will be loathe to pay for a luxury like mystery shopping. Some business owners will have sense enough to "amp up" their service level, trying to attract as many customers as possible.

I daresay that many consumers will be very cautious about money going forward, and will curtail any unnecessary spending.
Here in Ohio, when retail stores open, it will be by appointment only for in store experiences or curbside pickup. At least for awhile. Wasting an associate's time being shopped seems expensive.

Seems like this might curtail a lot of shoplifters though.
News you may have heard on three former mystery shop places I shopped at. Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes called it quits the other day. But amidst all the destruction both Shake Shack and Fresh brothers are opening new locations here in Santa Monica, California. That is a breath of fresh air.
The desire to maximize profits led to the creation of mystery shopping, and that monetary incentive hasn't gone anywhere. It will be much more critical for MSCs to remind the clients of that fact and demonstrate the return on investment from mystery shopping, e.g., every customer that leaves because of poor service will cost the business $X.

Experienced evaluator and auditor available for consulting in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and eastern North Carolina. Active member of North Carolina bar.
@sandyf wrote:

Both Shake Shack and Fresh brothers are opening new locations here in Santa Monica, California.
I hope that potential Shake Shack customers remember their callous $10M money grab when they pay $20 for a burger, fries, and a shake.
At what point will clients and shoppers be able to distinguish between poor service (not in keeping with stated standards in typical times) and what is happening now in an unprecedented situation which involves over-burdened drive-thru lines that cause longer than usual wait times and place a heavier than usual work load on employees who run the drive-thru services? People who utilize curbside and home delivery might know where the tricky spots are in those forms of service.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2020 12:56AM by Shop-et-al.
I did get an email today that Jack in the Box shops are back. I have no idea how any restaurant shop during this time could really be representative of what is expected. Rules are changing on a daily basis it seems. I do not do those shops but if anyone takes one, did they change the focus at all or is it the same form as before?

@Shop-et-al wrote:

At what point will clients and shoppers be able to distinguish between poor service (not in keeping with stated standards in typical times) and what is happening now in an unprecedented situation which involves over-burdened drive-thru lines that cause longer than usual wait times and place a heavier than usual work load on employees who run the drive-thru services? People who utilize curbside and home delivery might know where the tricky spots are in those forms of service.
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