Railways is mulling a proposal to have undercover sleuths manning railway stations and trains to check for anomalies in the services offered by the national transporter, a senior official said here today.
Called, "Mystery shoppers" they will look like normal passengers, but will keep a keen eye on the amenities - food, staff behaviour, and quality on trains and at stations - and rate them on their performance.
This system was developed in the early 20th Century in the US and the UK by firms wanting to evaluate standards being maintained by employees. Now, it is the chosen method of big companies to rate their services from the standpoint of consumers.
"This is one of the many proposals that are being currently considered by the railway board to monitor our services. The details are yet to be finalised," the official said.
The "mystery shoppers" will have set parameters by which they will rate the amenities by interacting with passengers, staff members and other officials and submit a report based on their findings, the official said.
The official said the board is in the process of deciding if the Quality Council of India can be roped in to carry out the "shopping" and if NGOs and other civil society groups can also be engaged for a fee for the purpose.
The identity of the mystery shopper will not be revealed at any point to field officials in order to ensure that transparency in the process is maintained, the official said.
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