In previous blog entries, we’ve talked about how precise a tool mystery shopping is because it allows a business to target specific initiatives to measure everything from how well the staff is executing to whether the background music is enjoyable at a retail location. But once you’ve aggregated all that intel, how do you act on what it’s telling you?
Whether people enjoy that background music is relatively straightforward enough to understand, of course. But what about the rest, like if your staff is offering promotions or if they’re doing a good job asking for business? Simply telling your employees to do a better job on these initiatives isn’t nearly enough. Mystery shopping can show them where they’re succeeding and where they’re not.
Employee training is crucial to the long-term success of your business. Education shouldn’t be a one-time event for new hires — it should be an ongoing process for a company’s self-improvement. So when mystery shopping results tell a business that its staff is failing to execute in some way, that’s an opportunity to instruct employees on how to get better for the next opportunity. Any mystery shopping company worth its salt will offer services on just how to do that by also offering leadership and sales seminars, for example.
There is one key point to take away from this, either way. Mystery shopping should never be used as a reason to belittle employees. In fact, sharing the exact score of an audit with an employee is dubious because you don’t want to make an employee feel “graded”. Instead, audits are best used by the managers themselves who are in a position to directly coach their subordinates. In the end, it ought to be constructive — it ought to be about improving.
Along those lines, mystery shopping offers an excellent opportunity to create an employee recognition and rewards program. One particular fact that’s true for the retail, service, hospitality, and dining industries is that there’s a lot of things employees can do to improve overall customer service that won’t necessarily show up on the scoreboard; the little things that really help a customer to feel valued and taken care of will more often than not go unnoticed by someone who’s focused only on the numbers. Mystery shops can shine a light on these important but unseen efforts.
Thus, mystery shops will allow you to really measure employee attitudes overall, especially when management is not observing them. Rewarding those employees, whether through financial incentives or employee-of the-month recognition, will reinforce how important they are, as well as how important customer service is for the long-term success of your business.
Identify where your employees need training. Reward them for the little things that often go unnoticed. These two points are some of the best uses for mystery shops.
You can learn more by reaching out to us at The Brandt Group. Not only do we help develop audits to pinpoint your initiatives, we also have great leadership and sales training options as well.Back to blog listing