By David Rekar | August 2021
Mystery shopping is a tool used by retailers, Consumer watchdogs (nonprofit organizations working for protecting the rights and interests of the consumers), and market researchers to collect information about products and service delivery. It is a regular audit used for quality control.
Based on the profile of the customers targeted, Mystery shopping companies search for the person who matches the same, provide them a questionnaire to record their experience, and train them about measuring various parameters. This person is called a Mystery Shopper. These mystery shoppers then visit retail outlets pretending to be customers and note down their experience about customer service, quality of products and services, and many other parameters. This collected data is then reported to the mystery shopping company, who compiles, examines, and analyzes data gathered from different outlets to help their clients measure and improve their customer experience.
They say the customer is King. If your customer is happy with your business nothing will stop you from becoming a top-selling company but is your staff treating your customer like a king? Mystery shopping gives insights regarding staff behavior. Mystery shoppers observe the behavior of your staff. Which of your staff members aren’t pleasing the customers and which ones are exceeding the expectations. All these activities are discreetly observed by mystery shoppers without interrupting the natural flow of the shopping experience.
Lack of staff skills and training can prove to be hurdles to the reputation of your business. Mystery shopping can help you find out loopholes in the above areas so that you can work on improving customer service.
Competition is part and parcel of the business environment. Mystery shopping can give you a sneak peek into your competitor’s daily operations, the behavior of their staff, and the response of the customers to their brand. If you are a startup in the industry, mystery shopping can benefit you greatly. It will help you with a competitive advantage.
Mystery shopping gives you an honest review of your business. If you rely on your employees’ feedback for daily operations, chances are there could be some discrepancies. Employees knowingly or unknowingly may give biased feedback which won’t give a clear picture about loopholes in your day-to-day business.
You launched a new product in the market. It worked well initially but saw a fall in the months following. What caused the failure? Knowing the reasons becomes very important when you want to improve the situation. Companies that use mystery shoppers easily identify things that go wrong.
Every company has its own set of protocols that employees are expected to follow to mitigate risks. Following the protocols of business, procedures have a more profound effect on branding. It impacts your company’s public image.
Some of the top players are known for giving personalized experiences to their valuable customers. On the other hand, unprofessional staff may make you lose your customers. If you want to stay ahead of the curve make sure you add mystery shopping in your current and future business strategy.