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Service Detectives give bad customer service the red card

Date 13 Dec 2007

Businesses in the North East are to be investigated by a new mystery shopping service that seeks to improve their customer service. Service Detectives is the brainchild of Newcastle-based business consultancy Zest Innovation and has already been tested on new restaurant chain Flatbread Café.

Zest wants to recruit more than 100 undercover investigators next year to visit North East retailers in order to uncover bad service, with plans to roll out the service throughout the UK in the next few years.

Laura Williams, Managing Director of Zest, said: "Through working with our clients on other projects, we discovered that businesses find it particularly challenging to analyse their service from their customers' point of view and could therefore benefit from a team of mystery shoppers capable of providing detailed analysis of the customer experience."

Service Detectives have already evaluated the level of service at the Flatbread Café on High Bridge in Newcastle in its first few weeks in business - ahead of owner Hossain Rezaei's plans to open another five North East sites over the next two years.

To help generate inquiries for the Service Detectives business, Zest has created the Red Card service, which consumers can order from the company's website.

Anyone who has suffered from bad service can hand the offending business the red card, which includes instructions on how they could benefit from Service Detectives.

Laura said: "We began to realise there was a huge potential to improve the relationships organisations have with their clients through the services they offer. Service detectives will help businesses improve these services once they have been established and ensure they stay one step ahead of their competitors."

More information about Service Detectives can be found at

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