The very good news (for a humble (Un) Secret Shopper) this fine Monday morning is that I received an email response from Scheels, to their Secret Shopper review from last week, a review that you can read by clicking here.
The problem is that the guy who sent it didn't give his last name, or his title.
Nice response, very friendly, well written - by some first-name only dude who may or may not actually work for Scheels.
In a moment, I'll type it so you can read it.
First, here are some of the companies that responded quickly, thoroughly and more than adequately to their Secret Shopper review:
Bass Pro Shops: responded within 9 hours of post - click to read their Secret Shopper review, and their response.
Home Depot: responded within 24 hours of post - click to read their Secret Shopper review, and their response.
Verizon Wireless: responded within 24 hours of post - click to read their response. Click here to read their Secret Shopper review.
Von Maur: responded within 24 hours of post - click to read their response. Click here to read their Secret Shopper review.
Auto Repair Shops: many got back to me within 24 hours - read their responses by clicking here. Read the Secret Shopper review by clicking here.
Kum And Go: responded within 24 hours of post - click to read their response. Click here to read their Secret Shopper review.
Here's a store that also responded, like Scheels, with a first name only dude, but who did have a title; after that, though, the whole thing turned icky:
raTget: No last name given by the person in "Guest Relations" who responded via email, which you can read by clicking here. Also, the head of their PR department promised an interview, then backed out 10 minutes before it was scheduled, and informed me by sending an email - you can read about that by clicking here. Read the Secret Shopper review of raTget by clicking here.
Here's a store that apparently doesn't have a first or last name dude, because they never responded - the only store to be Secret Shopped that has not, to date:
Karl Chevrolet - click to read their Secret Shopper review.
That brings us to the response from Scheels:
I wanted to thank you for your feedback and the experiences that you have shared in one of our stores. We appreciate your willingness to take the time to make us part of your evaluation and will share a more in-depth perspective of our customer service with you in the future!
Cool beans - what a great response!
Matt was polite and appreciative. He expressed his thanks, and promised to respond with something more detailed in the future. He spelled all the words right. He even called me by my expensive name.
There's just one itty bitty grainy lump in the otherwise scrumptous cake batter: Who in tarnation is Matt L.?
Is this Matt L, stocking? Is Matt L. down there? Is Matt L. one of these kids?
Does Matt L. officially represent Scheels? Is Matt L. paid by Scheels Corporate to do so? If Matt L. can't give out his last name or title, should Scheels be as suspicious as I am?
If someone working in a company's marketing/PR department as a spokesperson is going to take the time to respond to someone about something that someone wrote or said about the company they're paid to spokes about, it seems reasonable to expect that person to properly identify themself by their complete name, complete company title and complete way to avoid having another blog post written about them.
If someone called me and said, "I'm Betty X from The Udder Ointment Hut and I'm calling to respond to your blog post about how our Udderettes treated you during your visit," I'd first ask, "What do you do for UOH, why are you using an initial for your last name instead of the whole thing, and what's a number I can reach you at, Miss X?"
In email (and old school letter-writing) parlance, this is known as providing a "signature."
Matt didn't give one. That means his company isn't taking ownership of what he says, and neither is he, which gives whatever he says, no real credibility.
So there we are, still left with the mystery of just who this Matt L. fella is.
Instead of just calling Scheels Corporate and asking, "Is Matt L. around? It's his buddy, Jonnie Dub," I decided to use the internet, which won't laugh at me.
Google-searching (Does anybody even use Yahoo?) "Matt L. Scheels," I found this disturbing series of "Matt L." hits:
"Thanks for participating in the Fargo 5K!" - Matt L. scheels.com (in response to a blog post written by a runner, at http://26two.blogspot.com/2010/08/fargo-scheels-5k.html, who competed in a 5k race in Fargo, North Dakota, sponsored by Scheels)
"Love the Panther! Thanks for sharing." - Matt L. scheels.com (in response to a blog post written by "Darkice," at http://www.ball-pythons.net/forums/showthread.php?p=1337552 which said, "Just picked this up at Scheels. Zombies Watch Out! Its a dpms panther 308 with a 24 inch barrel.")
"Thanks for stopping by the store. Those John Deere flights are pretty popular!" - Matt L. scheels.com (in response to a blog post at http://talesfromclarkstreet.blogspot.com/2010/04/blondie-does-darts.html from a woman who purchased darts at a Scheels)
Okay, now I know who Matt L. is. NOT.
Yet fear not, (un)concerned blog readers; your (Un)Secret Shopper is on it, baby.
After examining all the evidence, plus 10 years of Today Show transcripts (for similar speech/writing patterns) I've determined that "Matt L." is actually NBC's Matt Lauer.
Moonlighting to make end's meet is nothing to be ashamed of, Matt. We've all been there, brutha.
So there ya go: Mystery solved. Case closed. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.
And don't forget to watch Matt L. tomorrow morning.
Jonnie Wright is a customer service evaluator and trainer, professional secret shopper, marketing strategist and host of The Unsecret Shopper Radio Show, Saturday mornings 8-9am, on 1350, KRNT.
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