Last weekend my phone asked me a question.
To be more precise: my Android phone (a.k.a. Google) prompted me a few cards for the first time. Usually I'm the one asking questions. Things like "Find nearest gas station" or "Parking". In 2016 my phone decided that the tables had turned. Just because I visited a shop without buying anything.
The algorithm probably figured that I did a 15 minute walk to visit a shop, spent some time inside but left well within the minimum time needed to do a purchase, given the amount of people who were also in the shop at that time. Since Android is a dominant platform, Google knows what the popular visiting hours are.
See the grey box at the bottom? It says 'Do you know this place? Help others to decide'.
Curious as I am, I clicked OK. It started with plain vanilla questions like: 'Does this place offer Wi-Fi?', 'Does this shop still exist?' or 'Can you pay by credit card?'. Simple questions that can be answered with 'Yes', 'No' or 'Not sure'. There is no room for personal bias.
After a few cards I got a question that was more related to my personal observation in this store.
I can do the math myself now. Google is actively asking visitors about their shopping experience, including contact with instore staff. Retail recruiters should be aware that if they are cutting corners on recruitment, onboarding and permanent training, it won’t be without consequences. Google eventually will know. And they will share it with your current and potential customers.
Does this affect retail shops only? No, I have had similar experiences with restaurants, bars and hotels. The review economy finally hits recruitment / HR with this staff related question.