Frequently Asked Questions

About Training CLICK HERE
About Mystery Shopper CLICK HERE

About Training

The value of spaced repetition

Although a 1 or 2 day course is beneficial, it is 100% more effective when participants are given a chance to rehearse, practice, and review new habits learnt. It is generally believed that a minimum of 28 days of continuous practice works best to change old habits.  

Unfortunately many training courses are 1-day intensive blocks with little or no follow-up. Participants return to work enthusiastic to attempt new techniques and are met with a backlog of work.  If you desire permanent change from your staff, give them an opportunity to review and practice what they have learnt. Ideally,  let their learning be supported by an internal coach or their trainer, or both.  Then return them to another training session for further skills perpetuation.

The learning process should not be a one-time affair

The speed of uptake of a  new message varies greatly from person to person. In learning, each of us have a 'conscious convincer'  which requires time to kick in before a message can be retained. This is little to do with intelligence. Instead it is all to do with the number of times we need to hear, see, or experience something before the neurological pathways in our sub-consciousness connect to the message taught. Some people are very quick to pick up new ideas; their conscious convincer only needs one or two reminders to grasp a new concept.  Yet, other equally intelligent people need to be exposed to the same information 4 or more times and often require it expressed in different ways. So, if your staff only receive  a single exposure to new skills or attitudes with no follow-up program built in, you  are likely to see less behavioral change.

If we're running a program with follow-up built in, how frequent should the sessions be?

We have observed over the years that if the extended follow-up program is not set up in the beginning, it is likely to be rarely held.  Our experience shows that it does matter how long or short the gap is in-between the first and the follow-up programs. Generally speaking, most follow-up programs are the most effective if they are spaced no more than 6 weeks from the date of the first training session, although this can vary from one type of training to another. The thumb rule is  this: the greater the reinforcement and the earlier this is carried out, the faster is the resultant change in behavior.  

The benefits in a short motivational speech or workshop

There are a number of reasons why you'll want to run a short session or program sometimes instead of a program running into several days.  They may include the following:

  1. It may be your annual conference. A quick short burst of information or motivation from a keynote speaker or breakout session of up to 2 hours may fit your agenda. Often you can consider further follow-up at a later date. A top-level speaker has spent many years learning the skill of inspiring people in a short time. A trainer, on the other hand, has better abilities at working with people over an extended period of time, drawing them out in easy learning strategies. Sometimes you can get both skills in the same person; we have a few senior trainers that fit into this category.
  1. You have limitations in getting the team together. They may be geographically spread around the country or several countries. You understand the value of synergy in bringing them together regularly but there is just too much on the agenda to be able to run a long program on any one training topic. Your organization is so busy; finding time for training is a challenge.  At other times there may be budgetary constraints.

Our emphasis earlier about spaced repetition ought to be stressed. You are likely to receive the best impact from a short program if you can incorporate some form of on-going education into your training calendar. If you cannot do that, bring your staff back in front of the speaker or facilitator in the near future. Other alternatives include giving the participants  books, tapes or on-line support.

Shall we send 1 or 2 or a small group to a  short public course?

There are some benefits in taking someone out of the workplace. They are:

  • There are new and fresh ideas on the training topic from different workplaces and people
  • There is opportunity for networking and the synergy that it often brings
  • The company's productivity is usually not too seriously compromised for only a few people are away from office

How about bringing a trainer  for a customized program,? What are the benefits?

This is where you really get top-class results and evidently the most cost-effective training.

  1. Everyone is hearing the same message at the same time.  The message is not diluted through being heard at different times. By listening to others and sharing solutions in the same class, sticky  management problems can often be resolved. In fact, to get the very best results, include the manager or team leader. When they hear the same issues being discussed, they can follow up learning in their own team meetings or in one-on-one sessions with individual participants.
  1. You will receive a range of opinions and receive input from participants; this adds to the richness of the discussions held and the outcome can often lead to ready solutions back in the work place for participants.
  1. As people talk, they begin to understand some of the issues and requirements of other departments. This improves communication at office. 
  1. A different level of networking and fellowship often evolves, especially in a big organization.  It is not uncommon to meet your colleague for the first time in a training program.

How will  an on-line program for self-paced learning fit into all this?

Online learning is not for everyone. The value from self-managed online learning is very dependant on the self-motivation of the students, their geographical proximity to training resources, their ease in dealing with computers, their personal learning styles (if they need the stimulation of others around them they will struggle learning alone), and whether the topic is one that can be learned in isolation.

To know more about how training can be effective even with a small budget, CLICK HERE

About Mystery Customer

Who is a Mystery Shopper?

Being a mystery shopper may mean being paid for what you like best – shopping!  At the same time, you are contributing valuable feedback to the service establishment you visit to make them even more efficient in serving you in future. Our clients as employers generally take the objective observations of mystery shoppers (such as yourself) very seriously. Why?  Because you are the moment of truth for their customer service.  What you feel is exactly what any other customer will feel, so you actually play a pivotal role in helping organizations provide better front-line services.

What is the Value of Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shoppers secretly evaluate all kinds of service oriented businesses. These include banks, hypermarkets, departmental stores, restaurants, gyms, bars, cinemas and more. The details obtained from your mystery shopping will provide our clients added information so that they can improve their front-line customer service.

What does it take to be a mystery shopper?

You need to be able to:

  • Read carefully all the information we send you to ensure you will meet the clients' specifications
  • Notice details and report them accurately
  • Write objectively and concisely
  • Return phone calls or e-mails promptly

How far will I have to travel and how much work might I get as a mystery shopper?

It depends. We try to assign work to shoppers who live close to our clients' locations.  Therefore the amount of work availablewill depend on how many locations are being researched within your residential area.

Is mystery shopping a full-time job?

No. We may have several clients in your residential area, or only a few. Some clients require we rotate mystery shoppers so your assignment may be as long as a few months to a few years depending on the client’s needs. Some clients require weekly shops and others ask for shops only once a month or every two months. Still, this is an excellent part-time job for a student who needs extra pocket money or somebody who enjoys eating, shopping or watching a movie for free and be glad to be paid for it.

How and when do I get paid for mystery shopping?

Mystery shoppers are independent contractors. Szetho Consultancy pays for satisfactory completion of shopping reports on a per shop basis. The rate varies from client to client and is agreed upon in advance. In addition, some of our clients also reimburse for purchases and allow shoppers to keep the items. Payment is usually once a month after completion of your report. Payment to shoppers is made by cheque paid around the 25th of the following month.

How do I become a mystery shopper?

Before you fill out our application, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can we always count on you to complete your assignments on time?
  • Do you have reliable access to a computer?
  • Are you comfortable working on-line independently?

To sign-up online to become a mystery shopper, CLICK HERE

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