300 Seconds: Mysterious Friends

Have you performed a self-check on your store lately? If you have just 5 minutes to devote to marketing today–and if you have three friends–reach out to them and ask for some help with a little market research. (Maybe you can use a store gift card as an incentive.)

  1. Ask the first friend to call the bookstore for specifics about an upcoming event.
  2. Ask the second friend to call in search of an obscure title.
  3. Ask the third friend to call with a complaint about a product or service.

Then ask each caller to report back on the following:

  • How many times did the phone ring?
  • Did the employee have a pleasant demeanor?
  • Was the employee helpful?
  • Did they respond to your questions in a knowledgeable manner?
  • Did they empathize with you?
  • Did they have the authority to solve your problem, quickly and to your satisfaction?

Use the results from this research to determine any gaps you might have in employee training and if there are any skills lacking that will aid employees in serving your customers. And remember that even though we don’t want to find areas that need attention, it’s better than being oblivious to them.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay