Whether you are experiencing low profits due to a decline in customer satisfaction or just want to ensure your employees continue to deliver the outstanding service you are known for, MYSTERY SHOPPING is for you!
What is MYSTERY SHOPPING?
Mystery shopping involves sending an anonymous customer into your place of business who will then report back with the facts and details of their experience.
What is the purpose of MYSTERY SHOPPING?
Stats used to be that a customer will tell roughly twice as many people about a bad experience than they will about a good experience. Now, with countless social media platforms, the number of people who will hear about a bad experience can be immeasurable, which has the potential to be devastating to a company’s reputation and bottom line. So, how does a business hear about potential customer service issues before the world does so they can be proactive, when only about 1 in 10 customers will actually voice their concerns directly to a manager? Mystery shopping. Mystery shopping is a tool that is used by business owners and managers alike to gather valuable information from the perspective of their customers so they can take action, capitalizing on their strengths and identifying and correcting areas of concern.
The biggest problem with addressing customer service issues is that it can be hard to know what needs to be addressed. Even when front-line staff is advised of an issue, they may not advise management. They may be hesitant because they find their manager unapproachable; there may be no appropriate internal channels for communicating questions or concerns; they may fear repercussions if they were part of the problem; or they may just feel the issue wasn’t that big of a deal. Management is often left in the dark about problems that are occurring right under their noses.
With customers not voicing complaints under most circumstances, and employees not always conveying those concerns, a lot of valuable information never makes it to the appropriate people in a business. By using an unbiased, independent, third-party evaluator who is specifically hired to ensure the voice of the customer is heard, it is much easier to correct deficiencies that may be impacting the reputation and bottom line of the business. Among other things, mystery shopping…
- Raises awareness among employees about the importance of providing exceptional customer service.
- Encourages a more consistent level of customer service. Because shoppers are anonymous, employees never know when they are being shopped and learn to treat each customer as though they are they mystery shopper.
- Provides ongoing data to be used to track trends, set benchmarks, and evaluate the effectiveness of training initiatives.
- Ensures everyone from front-line employees to management is involved in the delivery of outstanding customer service and is upholding company standards, policies, and procedures.
How does MYSTERY SHOPPING work?
We start by collaborating with our client to develop a program customized to meet their needs. A checklist is created that is designed to target the client’s specific areas of concern.
An anonymous evaluator, or “Mystery Shopper,” then visits the location and engages the employee(s) in an interaction that would be characteristic of a regular customer. Depending on the industry and requirements, the mystery shopper may enjoy a meal and/or beverage, inquire about/purchase a retail product, or receive a personal service such as a haircut or oil change.
Upon returning home, the mystery shopper will fill out an online report detailing their experience and the client will receive the final report. All data collected is stored on a secure, online database allowing clients to conduct in-depth data analysis at their convenience.MORE INFO
Depending on the purpose behind the shops and how the results will be used, various question types are included in a checklist to ensure the proper balance of standards, facts, and opinion. Typical areas that are evaluated include those such as: expediency of service, attitude, adherence to policies and standards, product quality, knowledge, selling skills, location condition, and comparison to competitors.
During the interaction, the anonymous shopper acts as naturally as possible to ensure the encounter mimics the typical interaction of a team member and the customer. In most cases, the team member will have no idea that the mystery shopper is anything other than a regular customer and will treat them the way they would treat any other customer they interact with.
What do I do with the MYSTERY SHOPPING reports?
What you do with the reports will depend on what your purpose for doing the shops in the first place, but the important thing is to do something with them! If you just let the reports sit on your desk collecting dust or file them away in a folder never to be seen again, you are defeating the purpose of Mystery Shopping and depriving yourself of a means of making your business the best it can be.MORE INFO
- Post the results where everyone can see them.
- Use the information as a coaching opportunity in staff meetings.
- Develop a comprehensive training program or use in your current training sessions.
- Incorporate into rewards and recognition programs.
- Utilize the results as part of employee performance evaluations.
- Set benchmarks with personal acknowledgement for reaching goals.
- Use the real-time data reporting tools provided with your program to monitor the effectiveness of training and coaching.
Who can use MYSTERY SHOPPING?
Anyone who is in the business of providing customer service can benefit from Mystery Shopping. Spot Check Services works with companies from a wide variety of industries and with companies ranging in size from a single location to over 900 locations.MORE INFO
Pricing and data collection methods may vary depending on your industry or the geographic location of your stores, but there is a program for everyone. If traditional Mystery Shopping may not be suited to your specific business or situation, we offer alternatives such as phone shops, site visits, internal operations reports, and online surveys.
How much will MYSTERY SHOPPING cost us?
The more accurate question is, “How much will MYSTERY SHOPPING save us?”
Many successful business owners/managers will tell you that the secret to their success isn’t really a secret at all. It is that they focus on keeping the customers they have rather than trying to find new ones. Their simple strategy is to build a relationship with each customer they have, and to let those happy customers build their business for them.MORE INFO
The time, money, and effort it takes to find a new customer can be 5 to 7 times the cost of keeping a satisfied customer. Yet time and again we have seen businesses pouring all available funds into advertising, marketing, and promotions, all in an effort to drive traffic through the front door. They do so while ignoring what those customers are actually encountering once through the door – product quality issues, unfriendly or disengaged staff, or employees who are untrained or under-qualified and lack the knowledge and skills to perform their job properly. These new customers leave, never to return again. Even worse, they use the limitless number of social media platforms available to tell everyone about the horrible experience they had. The company then pours more money into finding more customers and the vicious cycle continues. The only way to stop the cycle of customer service issues driving away the customers is to address the issues. A MYSTERY SHOPPING program can help you do just that.
The actual cost for a program varies by client. The price depends on a number of factors, including how many locations you have, how frequently you want to conduct shops, the length and complexity of your checklist and instructions, cost to the shopper, the type of industry you are in, the type of shop, what other services you are using, and the time commitment by the shoppers. Our a la carte pricing allows us to tailor a program specific to your needs and budget.
What are the benefits of a well-managed MYSTERY SHOPPING program?
$$ INCREASED REVENUE AND PROFITS $$