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Hiring Mystery Shoppers for Airlines

Mystery shoppers work for a great many service industries and fields. One area where mystery shoppers can provide valuable feedback and information is the airline industry. Airlines are often in need of more feedback beyond regular customer complaints and measuring take off and landing times. Here are a few reasons why airlines should consider working with mystery shoppers on a more regular basis.

1. Mystery Shoppers Can Provide Unbiased Feedback About Staff Performance

Too often, the only time airlines hear from customers is when the customers have a complaint. So the airlines know all too well when people are not happy. But those complaints are not always accurate. People tend to inflate their outrage if they think it will help them get better service, or if they want to hurt an airline’s reputation. And what about all those times people were perfectly happy with their travel, and said nothing?

Mystery shoppers can give an unbiased look at a trip through the eyes of a traveler and let the airlines know what a trip was really like. They can report on flight attendant performance, cleanliness of the facilities, and whether in-flight calls for assistance were answered.

2. Mystery Shoppers Can Check On Competitors

Picture of a TAM Flight Attendant working.

Picture of a TAM Flight Attendant working. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Airlines can check out the competition with the help of mystery shoppers. By working with a mystery shopping agency, they can send shoppers to other airlines to see how they are performing. They can see how the airlines do in different service areas, and either seek to match or even improve on what the competition is doing. This lets airlines remain competitive, while still ensuring their own passengers are satisfied.

3. Mystery Shoppers Can Ensure Airline Staff Follow Proper Procedures

There is an old saying in the mystery shopping industry that “when the cat is away, the mice will play.” In other words, when management is around, the staff is on their best behavior. But a mystery shopper is not known, and so they can gather more accurate information. Are staff doing the appropriate walkthroughs? Are they serving beverages and snacks? Are the pilots providing periodic updates? While the FAA places inspectors on flights to find more of the detailed and industry-specific information, there may be some airline-specific requirements that mystery shoppers are able to observe.

Working with a mystery shopping agency is an important way for airlines to know they are doing the best work possible: they get unbiased feedback, they can see how the competition is doing, and they can ensure that all airline staff are following the company rules and even governmental regulations.

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