Informal Observation Advantages

Written by jody wilber
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Informal Observation Advantages
Some businesses use secret shoppers for observation. (Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

If you are concerned about quality control or customer satisfaction, then consider implementing informal observation techniques in your business. Many times, people are on their best behaviour when they know they are being watched or observed. This can often yield results that may not be truly indicative of whether or not that person is reacting genuinely in a given situation.

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Quality Control

One of the best ways to measure quality of service at your business is to use informal observation techniques. For example, if you operate a call centre, you can record selected conversations and monitor them later. You can then generate a feedback report for the employee and relay strengths as well as areas for improvement. By randomly selecting observation times, you can get a more accurate picture of how the employee performs the job on a regular basis.

Training new employees.

Use informal observation for training new employees. Typically, when a new employee hears or sees common mistakes or blunders made by co-workers, he can learn preventive measures to avoid these mistakes. If you have audio or video recordings of sessions, provide a transcript so that new employees can also read the conversation. This can also be used to show new employees problem-solving techniques and can demonstrate the best ways to handle different situations.

Secret Shoppers

Journalists or consumer affairs advocates who want to gain perspective from the customer's point of view will visit many restaurants and stores. They do not announce that they are visiting the business so they can get a realistic idea of how it operates on a day-to-day basis. This is a great way to get a complete snapshot of the type of service customers receive on a typical visit to these establishments.

Classroom Observation

Many educational institutions can implement informal observation techniques by simply taking note of a few basic factors while observing teachers. They can observe key points such as communication skills and techniques, comfort level of teachers/students, teacher-student involvement and initiatives. The observer can give the teacher feedback about making improvements without the pressure of a more formal observation. You can also use a feedback form to take notes and then share them with the instructor after the observation session.

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