HEIDELBERG, Germany - The Installation Management Command-Europe Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation division is taking the next step as part of its ongoing push to provide quality service to every customer.

"When it comes to serving the Army community, customer service and quality products are always a priority for region and garrison-level FMWR offices," said Peter Shallish of IMCOM-Europe MWR.

In fact, FMWR programs at every garrison in the region have been strengthening employee and manager skills by training them in an Armywide customer service program called Operation Excellence. In 2008, 58 FMWR Europe employees were certified as Operation Excellence trainers, who then held customer service classes for their garrison colleagues.

The next stage in this effort to enhance customer service throughout the region involves an evaluation program dubbed Mystery Shopper.

Mystery shoppers, explained Shallish, are community members that evaluate and report on service they receive from garrison FMWR programs. The term "mystery" refers to the fact that no one knows that the shoppers are evaluating the service and program they visit.

Following the "shop," the evaluator completes an electronic report with a stateside contractor that compares the customer's evaluation to comparable commercial establishments and provides the results to IMCOM-Europe FMWR. Results are then provided to the garrison.

"The evaluation report provides employees and managers information on their programs and services," said Shallish, "allowing them to recognize where they are doing well or where to make improvements."

An important aspect of the Mystery Shopper program, Shallish stressed, is involvement of Army community members in the evaluation process.

Anyone interested in becoming a mystery shopper - which is a paid position - needs to register online at www.bareinternational.com or e-mail garrisonservices@bareinternational.com. You must be at least 19, have access to the Internet and e-mail, and have an identification card allowing use of Army garrison FMWR programs.