If you run a retail business, nothing will give you greater insight into customer satisfaction and your staff’s quality of customer service than mystery shoppers. Specifically selected to represent your customer base, they will show you a true picture of how your business is run at the root.
Perhaps you already send delegates to visit your shops and report on their findings on a regular basis and you wonder what more mystery shopping could bring you. While those inspections are most definitely valuable, your staff will be looking at your shops with a different perspective, a corporate eye trained to give business feedback and think in terms of processes, and it won’t tell you what it is like to be a customer of yours.
Your sales representatives on the shop floor will also certainly be on their best behaviour while they are being assessed, depriving you perhaps from seeing problems with customer service.
Protected by anonymity, mystery shoppers can reveal undesirable practices from your staff, insufficient training, or any negative aspect that may lead to low customer satisfaction. On the positive side, they can as well highlight your strengths and what made their experience enjoyable.
In addition, the prospect of having mystery shoppers visiting any store at any time also has the effect of keeping your staff on their toes! Knowing that potentially any customer could be “the one”, they are very likely to provide excellent customer service to all of them!
Compared to other ways of collecting customer feedback and measuring satisfaction, sending a mystery shopper also presents the advantage of being relatively inexpensive, and is a productive option for companies looking at controlling their costs.
Finally, seeing your shops and company through the eyes of a customer can provide you with fresh ideas about how to improve and grow your business. It can also be useful when trying to reach a new type of customer, as sending a mystery shopper with a suitable profile will also inform you of how well you would do with them, or what you need to do in order to be more appealing.
Mystery shopping is a worthwhile avenue to explore for companies, not least because it will also uncover whether your ethics and values are cascading through all levels of your company, which will directly affect how your brand is perceived.