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Checking out the Alpine Ski World Championship

Worldwide Mystery Shopping Services

Worldwide Mystery Shopping Services

Munich – The mystery shopping company INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CHECK doing business on an international level assigned 50 of the firm’s mystery shoppers in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the first few days of the FIS Alpine Ski World Championship (February 8 and 9, 2011) in order to check under cover the circumstances prevailing during this major sports event.

There were two test scenarios for each of the 50 Checkers:

A. Phoning a hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and asking whether a double room was available from February 11 to February 12, 2011.

B. Approaching a volunteer or a mobile vacation advisor in the streets of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and asking two questions.

The third test scenario was to be followed by 20 of the 50 Checkers:

C. Phoning the Organizing Committee of the Ski World Championship and asking for help or assistance regarding a certain matter.

The rating system used by the Mystery Checkers of INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CHECK in standardized questionnaires was based on the principle of German school grades 1 = very good to 6 = unsatisfactory. 35 of the Checkers were female, 15, male. 40 of the phone calls or inquiries under scenarios A and B were carried out in German, 10 in English. Scenario C was performed 15 times in German and 5 times in English.

In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the results of the large-scale Mystery Check are likely to have met with satisfaction and joy on all levels of organization, since the 50 Checkers submitted good overall results almost without exceptions.

According to the overall mark, the staff of the Organizing Committee of the Ski World Championship who were checked scored best reaching a mark of 1.2 (very good), closely followed by the volunteers or mobile vacation advisors reaching a mark of 1.3 (very good) and the hotels finishing third by reaching a mark of 2.4 (good).

Expressed in terms of individual categories, the following grades were reached:

Kindness: Organizing Commitee of the Ski World Championship 1.2 (very good), volunteers/mobile vacation advisors 1.2 (very good), hotels 2.6 (satisfactory)

Expertise: Organizing Commitee of the Ski World Championship 1.4 (very good), volunteers/mobile vacation advisors 1.6 (good), hotels 2.4 (good)

Helpfulness: Organizing Commitee of the Ski World Championship 1.0 (very good), volunteers/mobile vacation advisors 1.1 (very good), hotels 2.2 (good).

On Scenario A: Phone calls were made, among other places to Atlas Posthotel, Hotel Sonnenbichl, Mercure, Riessersee Hotel, Best Western Hotel Obermühle and small hotels. In 95% of the phone calls the Checkers were able to speak to someone upon the first call. In 80% of the phone calls the answer to the inquiry about the room was negative, in 20% of the calls rooms were still available. In 70% of the inquiries the hotel which did not have any rooms available was helpful and gave advice on other hotels or referred the caller to the tourist information. In cases in which Checkers had to wait on the phone because inquiries had to be made, they felt that the waiting periods were appropriate. If Checkers were promised to be called back, this promise was kept in 100% of the cases. The majority of staff members were helpful and felt sorry when they were not able to offer any rooms. In 6% of the phone calls the Checkers recorded that the hotel staff were downright annoyed about the room request.

On Scenario B: The Checkers asked the volunteers and/or mobile vacation advisors the following two questions. What the Checkers wanted to know from the volunteers was: What is the admission fee for the evening events? Where does the award ceremony take place? What they wanted to know from the mobile vacation advisors was: Where can I buy tickets for the World Championship?How early before the beginning of the race are visitors admitted? In 78% of the inquiries the Checkers were able to find the persons giving assistance immediately, especially in the town center, but hardly at the shuttle locations. All in all, it was 90% of the volunteers who answered their two questions correctly, in 10% of the cases colleagues had to be asked. As to the mobile vacation advisors, it was 86% who answered correctly, and 14% contacted their colleagues. The Checkers especially complemented both the volunteers as well as the mobile vacation advisors on their high level of friendliness and helpfulness in all checks.

On Scenario C: 20 Checkers asked the Organizing Commitee of the Ski World Championship one of the following questions on the phone: Where can we still get tickets for the World Championships and what do they cost? How about parking facilities for wheelchair users and their transfer to the arena? Are there handicapped accessible lavatories at the sports arena? Ten phone calls were made to the office of the Organizing Committee of the World Championship and ten to the tourist information. 100% of the phone calls were answered to the Checkers’ full satisfaction. Here, too, the Checkers rated every single one of the twenty inquiries to be excellent as far as friendliness and helpfulness were concerned.

Moreover, the Checkers found that the parking facilities in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are well signed and that there were no traffic jams or other problems on the days of the checks. Several Checkers criticized that the number of advertizing measures in general was too little in terms of this major event. Checkers on their way, for example, from Austria to Munich using the federal road B2 leading through Garmisch-Partenkirchen found hardly any signs advertising the Ski World Championship.

The ratings of the English-language inquiries scored neither better nor worse than the German-language inquiries.

The Country Managerin for Germany of INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CHECK, Jessica Schneider, sums up the check result as follows:

„INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CHECK scrutinized Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the organizers of the Alpine Ski World Championship on the two days of checking with its 50 Checkers, and the overall result is extremely pleasant and very successful both for the town and for the persons responsible for the World Championship. No one, neither the hotels nor the volunteers nor the mobile vacation advisors nor the Organizing Committee of the Ski World Championship made any mistakes. Our representative check carried out by men and women, in German and in English, shows that Garmisch-Partenkirchen is fit for a major sports event of that type and that the place welcomes its guests in a cordial, competent and helpful manner.“

The INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CHECK/Multisearch GmbH was founded in Munich in 1996 as market research enterprise specializing in mystery shopping services worldwide. Currently over 500.000 test clients, so-called service checkers, are registered with International Service Check.

Tobias Kurzmaier
Chief Press Officer
Dachauer Strasse 37
80335 Munich
Tel. +49 (0) 89 54558228
Fax +49 (0) 89 557443

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