The first step an organization needs to take when implementing a mystery shopping program is to determine why they are interested in having mystery shoppers visit the business. What kinds of issues do they want to address? Is there a specific concern about customer size and transaction volume or has the organization been receiving a number of complaints about the same kind of issues?
While most mystery shopping programs are about measuring customer service, there are a range of other possible objectives including:
- Compliance - are your staff complying with legal requirements
- Standards - are your staff following organization's standards, policies and procedures
- Incentives - identifying staff deserving of reward
- Benchmarking - we can benchmark you against competition; by service and by product
- Customer satisfaction - what is the quality of service and product being rendered to you customers
- Customer loyalty- are you staff creating the atmosphere for repeated business
- Training needs and effectiveness - identifying weaknesses in the service chain which may indicate a training need, and confirm afterwards how effective the training has been
- Continuous Improvement - techniques which provide you with an ideal basis for helping every branch or every staff member to strive towards excellence
- Overall customer experience - knowing how your customer feel about the organization and its offerings
- Staff friendliness and engagement skills - developing a strategy that promotes staff/customer friendliness and engagement coefficient
- Sales & service processes - are your staff grounded in the policies and procedures of your organization
A mystery shopping report is only useful if a business asks the right questions and whatever the answers to these questions are, they must be something the company can act on once it receives the information. Preparing the right questions and agreeing on what to observe will enhance the acceptability of the result of the exercise, hence once employees are made aware of the results, tendency to dispute some details about the visit or the shopper's findings will be minimized. The ultimate goal to using mystery shoppers to gather information when they visit a particular location is to improve the customers' experience when they visit the business.
Also to be fair and above board, employees should be told that the organization intends to use mystery shoppers to gauge how they conduct themselves when dealing with customers.
Owners and managers can't be everywhere at once to keep a close eye on how well employees are performing their duties.
Getting an impression from a neutral third party is a great way to evaluate whether the organization's training programs have been effective as far as product knowledge and customer service practices are concerned. Keep in mind that the vast majority of customers who are dissatisfied after visiting a business don't take the time to communicate their dissatisfaction to anyone. They just quietly take their business elsewhere.
Once the organization has a clear idea of where it is and what goals it wants to achieve going forward, we can work with you to develop a clear plan for all issues requiring a redress using the mystery shopper's approach.