You've probably heard your friends who work in retail talking about how they were "shopped". If they didn't take the time to explain, let me help you out here: Getting "shopped" means getting a visit from a mystery shopper. You won't know it until later, if they're any good at it.
Funny thing is, people think this only happens in private industry. Think again---larger governmental bodies look to improve their customer service representatives with the very same tool. Your humble columnist ought to know, as I was shopped a year ago. I didn't know until later, when a crew of my co-workers showed up with a bunch of gifts, a banner and a camera. Seems that about a half-dozen of us got shopped and passed with flying colours, so we were mentioned in the newsletter and on the television monitors in City Hall.
How difficult is it to make a good grade with this? Not too. For openers, put yourself in the shoes of the visitor: Just because you know your way around the labyrinth doesn't mean everybody's tuned in. Take a moment away from that ginormous report and walk them to the proper area. You need the change of scenery, they need something more than just a vague finger-pointing---everybody wins!
On the phone? Take advantage of the opportunity to look up a location and phone number. Call the party at the visitor's destination to make sure that they'll be in. If not, provide their phone number, location and e-mail address to the visitor, so that an appointment may be set.
Finally, don't forget to flash that beautiful smile of yours.....