Mystery shopping can analyse and objectively measure the quality of customer experience through staff interactions, the quality of your establishments and the buying experience across your entire company. This applies to whether the company is a franchise or a solely owned distribution network. Customer service is what helps companies gain loyal customers and improves the experience for everyone who visits. Employees are the face of a company and good service serves to strengthen the company’s reputation and brand perception, among existing and potential customers.
The following are 5 areas where mystery shopping can impact on your business
1. Knowing what your competitors are up to:
When formulating and designing a business plan, it is important for new market entrants to include mystery shopping exercises in their market research package. It is also essential for already well-established companies, as it allows you to:
- Get a better knowledge of who your nearest competitors are, their pricing structure and their unique selling points.
- Identify market niches that are unoccupied by any of your competitors.
2. Knowing how well you are doing
Mystery shopper exercises can help to document step-by-step the process of buying your services or products, as well as defining the customer support process. Use it to:
- Clearly and objectively define customer buying experience.
- Detect deficiencies and make alterations to your customer care charter
3. Evaluate the value-added your staff contribute to the customer experience
Mystery Shopping can be used as a training aid as it will highlight professionalism, helpfulness, integrity, appearance, and knowledge of your team during the buying process. Buyers are not only buying your services/products, but they also buy into your team and their credibility. This type of mystery shopping can provide key information for your Human Resources department about specific employees and should be performed on an on-going basis.
4. Evaluating the impact of your premises’ infrastructure on the customer experience
Mystery Shoppers will analyse the overall shopping experience including the cleanliness of the “retail store’, the tidiness of the products displayed, the space allocated to your products in the store, point of sale merchandise, and so on. It is important to know what your point of sale looks like when management is not present!
5. Provide you with an accurate picture of how your brand is perceived
Brands want to be associated with specific values and qualities, and these feel-good factors should be perceived by buyers through your team, processes, products, and establishments. For example, if I am going to buy a watch for €1,000, I would expect an elitist shop, with a dedicated team that provides me with a top-class buying experience. If one of the elements of the buying process is not there, I probably will not buy the watch. Mystery Shopping exercises will indicate if your buyers are perceiving the brand image that you want, or if you need to invest more in this field.