Last week, one of my question was:

  • Why, as a business, you should use Mystery Shopping to improve your Customer Experience?

Well it is a very easy question to answer, because Mystery Shopping will give you an objective view of the service you and your employees provide to your customers.

Mystery Shopping isn’t about picking on staff; it isn’t like “Big Brothers’ House”, where people are watching you until you make a mistake!! It is about understanding your level of service, good or not so good at a given moment in time, it is about celebrating excellent service and looking at “gaps” when the service isn’t so good.

Why are your employees not giving excellent service at all times?? Well perhaps you haven’t trained them correctly, perhaps they haven’t been told what they need to do, or it could be an environment issue!! Mystery Shopping will give you feedback which you can then act on.

Once you have decided to use Mystery Shopping, define some clear objectives, what is it exactly that you would like to know? Is it the general feel of your shop? Is it the selling techniques of your staff or the cleanliness of your toilet?? Look at areas that you know may already have issues, this could be a clue of where you may want to start…

A couple of years ago, I was sent a great story about Mystery Shopping, which I keep referring to; the story is about Kevin Peters, President of Office Depots, a US stationery company, who was performing Mystery Shopping every month and were getting top results every time. However the company’s profit wasn’t growing, he just couldn’t understand why? So he took the questionnaire they had in place and went himself to perform a visit, the shop was welcoming, the assistants were wearing their branded uniform, the lights were working, all the general approach questions were ticking all the boxes, BUT he realised that there was no questions what-so-ever on the assistants’ product knowledge nor their selling techniques. It was obvious that the questionnaire in place was looking at the environment but wasn’t looking at the “Sell” the closing the deal, the care before, during and after!! As soon as he realised the gap, the questionnaire was changed, the staff got trained and guess what?? The Sales went up, and up and up!! Read the whole story here…

So when you put a programme together make sure you know exactly what area you need to concentrate on, it is good to focus on 3 or 4 areas to start with. Don’t tackle everything at the same time, or you may be overwhelmed when the results starts coming in and may not be able to manage the next part of the Mystery Shopping Programme.

–          What areas would you put first if you were to set up your own programme?

–          How could you put a simple questionnaire together to get some Mystery Shopping visits started?

–         What do you think you should then do with Mystery Shopping results?

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