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Mystery Shopper: Fairfax, VA

OneSource Project

To improve access and participation for individuals with disabilities within the workforce development system of Northern Virginia, a mystery shopper strategy was piloted by the OneSource Project, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability and Employment Policy Customized Employment Grant. The Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board and a consortium of public and private partners joined together to build the capacity of local One-Stop Centers and their partners to offer customized employment services to un- or underemployed persons with disabilities.

As part of these efforts a 'mystery shopper' strategy has been implemented to evaluate the current level of services offered by the One-Stops to customers, especially, in this case, those with disabilities. 'Mystery shoppers' are trained individuals who pose as customers to visit store locations and then write up reports on their observations and identification of quality issues.

A report card was developed to document specific aspects of the mystery shopper's experience at the One-Stop in respect to six areas:

These reports are then utilized by management to improve customer relations and make changes to meet or exceed quality standards. This strategy is utilized by a growing number of retail businesses to identify customer service issues and achieve consistent quality standards across locations, and it translates into a very effective tool for One-Stops.

For more information, contact:

Bruce Pattersen
Senior Vice President
Service Source, Alexandria, VA
bpatterson@ourpeoplework.org

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