Mystery shopping can measure many different facets of any business, especially any that is customer-facing. Whether your company is in the business of sales or services, mystery shopping can benefit it in four key ways:
There’s an order of operations in any business, from the step-by-step rhythms of dining to the process of buying a car. This hierarchal procedure shows up at every level, in automated phone-trees and face-to-face talks, in sales and in support.
These rhythms become so familiar to the employees they seem natural and even logical. Because of this, it’s difficult to self-evaluate whether all these different processes are the most efficient and easy to understand from the customer’s point-of-view. A procedure can go by so fast that customers are often left with more questions than answers; another might go by so slow that customers disengage from boredom. Either way, fine-tuning every part of the process can do a lot to predetermine whether a customer’s experience is positive or negative.
Staff performance can be far more complicated than scorecards and quotas show. For executive management and ownership, there’s often not enough time to check in to make sure everything from maintenance to merchandising has all been done correctly, let alone whether the salespeople or the support staff are executing on all of your customer service initiatives. While many businesses employ mid-level managers for this purpose, an external set of eyes can spot shortcomings that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Honing staff performance can lead to higher sales, sure, sure, but it can also guarantee customer loyalty—which is even more rewarding in the long run. Customer acquisition is always more expensive than retention, and there’s no surer way to facilitate repeat business than with great staff performance. Don't waste money on bad staff performance!
While signage and collateral (including brochures, flyers, and the like) are never supposed to take the place of staff, these items can do much to provide customers with product education and promotion awareness.
Once again, it’s far too easy to take for granted what makes sense within the bounds of your business every day. Without that framing, customers need the right level of eye-catching detail that straddles the line between fading into background noise and over stimulating the senses. The only way to know for sure is to put all of this information in front of your clientele and let them judge from their own perspectives. Mystery shoppers can let you know how effective your visual presentation is.
Competitive intelligence can be one of the most powerful tools available to a business owner. As we’ve outlined in a previous blog, learning about your competitors, how they’re excelling or faltering, provides something no internal evaluation can ever uncover: context.
Some of that data will include product and service offerings, pricing, and merchandising, but it’ll also include a look at those aforementioned processes and staff performance. The importance of those elements cannot be understated. Even if many consumers shop on price, a business can never truly afford to compete on this facet alone. Doing so only guarantees a race to the bottom in profits and quality, and that finish line is called bankruptcy.
Learning about your competition, gleaning all that context, will allow you to know how best to position your business as not only a leader in products and services, but also in the pride it takes in its customer service and presentation.
The confluence of what you learn from these four points will help you to retain and instill loyalty in your customers, as well as attract the right kinds of customers going forward. While investments in these areas will obviously cost money, you really can't afford not to.
Learn more about marrying the details with the bigger picture, to ensure your business is hitting on each of these four points, by reaching out to us at The Brandt Group for a consultation today.Back to blog listing