"Mystery shopping" in student services

December 3, 2012

While common in entertainment, hospitality, and retail fields, "mystery shopping" is not a tool regularly used by PSE administrators, but the president of Virginia-based Marymount University hopes to change that. At the president's behest, a group of students surreptitiously tested different offices to evaluate service quality. "Inside the classroom, students are students, but outside it they're customers," says the president, whose institution is engaging in a broader initiative to improve service quality on campus. He notes that a student's interaction with university officials outside the classroom, while not the focus of a student's time at Marymount, can shade his or her view of the experience, thereby making him or her less likely to recommend the university to others or keep him or her from engaging with a particular campus office. In the case of the library or career services, it could significantly affect that student's educational or professional outcome. Inside Higher Ed