Advantages of Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping is an invaluable tool that businesses can use to measure the quality of service in their stores, staff performance levels, compliance to rules and regulations or simply just to acquire specific information about their
products and services.
Mystery shopping benefits the business as it gives owners reliable and objective feedback from the “customers’ perspective.” It’s a resource that can be used to grow the business and achieve excellent customer satisfaction ratings.
What Are the Benefits of Mystery Shopping?
Improves Customer Service and Satisfaction
Mystery shoppers evaluate customer service in stores as they look to see how employees interact with customers when the boss isn’t around. This gives businesses an insight into customer satisfaction and it will soon become apparent if any employees displayed behaviours that may eventually lead to low satisfaction scores. The opportunity then exists to take swift action to correct these behaviours.
Keeps Employees on Their Toes
Be open and honest with employees and inform them that a mystery shopper can come into their store at any time. As a result, they may be more likely to provide excellent customer service all the time and to every customer, as they won’t know who the mystery shoppers are.
As owners are always looking to minimise costs when it comes to evaluating their business, mystery shopping may be a useful option. It’s a low-cost endeavour that doesn’t require too much investment, yet the feedback received is invaluable.
Regardless of whether they are large or small, a business may have problems that it is not aware of. A poor result on a mystery shopping evaluation is a clear opportunity to learn and do better. It allows a business to know exactly what to focus on and how. Poor results actioned correctly will grow and strengthen the business.
Develops New Ideas
A problem that many owners often face is coming up with new research ideas for how to improve their business. Working and being in the business every day can create “tunnel vision” and make it difficult to get a glimpse into how the business can improve. Mystery shopping is yet another tool that can be used to stimulate research as an “outsider” may suggest ideas that otherwise would not have been considered.
Recognises Outstanding Employees
Great customer service may sometimes go unnoticed. Being able to identify and reward those employees who consistently provide great service and conduct their work to a high standard will make others take notice. This can lead to increased productivity as other employees also strive to succeed in order to get recognised.
Reviews Your Brand
Brands want to be recognised for having specific values and qualities. These can all be perceived through employees, staff, business processes, services, products, and establishments. A mystery shopping exercise will immediately indicate if your customers are perceiving the brand image that you want to portray or you need to improve and invest more in this area.
Evaluates Your Entire Store
Mystery Shoppers analyse the overall shopping experience. Not only do they evaluate customer service, they take everything into account in their reporting. This includes the cleanliness of the store, how tidy the product displays are, the space allocated for your products, point of sale, staff presentation, stock availability and so much more.
Addresses Staff Training
Mystery Shopping reports highlight professionalism, helpfulness, integrity, appearance, and knowledge of employees during the whole shopping process. At times, the employee may not necessarily be at fault for not providing outstanding customer service. It could be their initial lack of training that is now causing concerns for the business and its poor performance. This key information makes businesses aware that they need to improve their staff training or risk losing out to their competitors.
Key Points to Remember
- The benefits of mystery shopping will vary for each business. The size and industry of your business is a factor, as well as the needs of your business.
- Mystery shopping programs can be organised for a variety of different reasons, with each program specially targeted to produce benefits in the areas you need most.
- Determine what you want to find out from your mystery shopping program so that you can convey this to the company you hire. A competent mystery shopping service will be able to customise your program to your specific business needs.
- Shop around for the mystery shopping service that will best meet your needs and budget. You
can either use a large company that can handle the entire process or a smaller one that only collects the data that you then have to analyse yourself.
- Inform staff that you will be implementing the program, so they do not feel like they were blindsided after the fact. Let them know that you are using it as a tool to improve overall service.
Mystery shopping can provide invaluable information as to how your business is functioning as a whole. It allows you to restructure as your business grows and develops. It also allows you to more quickly and effectively target training to areas where it is needed, identify customer needs and satisfaction and maintain employee integrity and moral.