Using mystery shoppers for compliance laws

You may think that mystery shoppers can only help you improve customer service and the quality of your business.

You may think that mystery shoppers can only help you improve customer service and the quality of your business. These shoppers can score based on how fast your employees address issues, how friendly they are and whether they followed company practices such as upselling. However, there is more to a mystery shopper service than mere customer satisfaction. If you run a store that offers products that can only be sold to adults, you need to follow age verification laws in order to maintain compliance. What mystery shopping can do is keep your business from making mistakes that ruin it.

Above the legal limit
State and local laws have instituted legal age limits for the purchase of a variety of a goods. All states have laws that prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21, as well as laws preventing tobacco and pornography sales to people under 18. In several states, gun purchases also have minimum age requirements depending on the type of weapon, usually 18 or 21, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In the states of Washington and Colorado, marijuana purchases have legal ages as well, both 18.

There are many fatal consequences for failing to check IDs. You could likely fail an ID check and be let off with a warning. It could be argued that your employee alone failed to follow compliance laws. For example, if you ran a restaurant and a bartender failed to check for identification, you could make a case of fixing the problem by firing him or her. However, if this process repeats itself, it can mean that you're failing to properly train your employees on compliance laws.That can say a lot of things about your customer service abilities, but it also means that your license to sell these goods will be revoked. With restaurants, a liquor license revocation will likely mean your business will shutter very quickly.

Often, the way businesses find out about age compliance failure is through undercover operations through local authorities, but mystery shopping presents another opportunity, as suggested by the Pinkerton Agency. All that mystery shoppers would have to do is buy alcohol, cigarettes or other materials that require checking an ID card and mark whether the clerk or employee did so. You can apply the same rules of failing to card a mystery shopper as you would if a worker fails to card an undercover cop. In addition to ensuring compliance, you create a situation for your staff that ensures they are paying attention to every detail in their job.