Public Service Secret Shopper

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 8th January 2021.

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Photo of Tony Devenish Tony Devenish Conservative

I am picking up an “undercurrent” of complaints that public service "customer service" has declined since March. Obviously Covid-19 is a national emergency but it is also when Londoners’ needs are greatest. Would you consider establishing a “secret shopper” team to work across LAS, LFB, Met Police, TfL and NHS London to allay fears?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

I am immensely proud of customer service staff who have helped to keep Londoners safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. Now is really not the time to be questioning their commitment and I don’t accept this characterisation of the current situation. Most Londoners understand the difficulties our public services are facing.

I do not believe a pan-service mystery shopper approach is the right way to deliver improvements. Mystery shoppers require rigorous, specific training, relevant to the environment they’re assessing. Having a team that worked across different public services, with very different environments, would not be practical. This would also likely be a very expensive proposal. At a time of pressure on public resources, I don’t think this is justified when there are already robust systems in place.

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