As a business owner, you train your staff and expect them to provide your shoppers with consistent, quality service every time they visit. You have measures in place to keep track of your sales, inventory and financial transactions. You may even have cameras to keep an eye on your service area for many areas of interest. However, when it comes to the standards of one to one interaction between your staff and your clients, how can you really be sure you’re being represented consistently?
Whether seeking a highly detailed analysis of an entire store visit with many areas of assessment or specialized reporting of service timing, a qualified and well-trained mystery shopper will report back with accurate data. These reports are designed to keep you informed and help develop strategies to improve every aspect of your business. Satisfied clientele are repeat clientele.
Covert quality inspections
Trained mystery shoppers appear to be every day clientele in your establishment. They are real patrons, there to experience your product, eat, shop, try on and buy a myriad of items. When properly trained and experienced, you will never know a mystery shopper was ever in your establishment until you review the report that was given after they are gone. Hiring a company with excellent customer experience management is a sure way to gain expert insight into the thoughts of your shoppers.
The best part about receiving these reports is that they are done at many different times of the day and can be completed by a wide range of individuals. If you’re looking to gauge how your store opens and how the service changes when things get busy during lunch and dinners rushes, contracting with a company specializing in this type of inspection is for you. Every secret shopper is trained ahead of their visit with a comprehensive manual outlining all of the levels of service involved with your business. The report is tailored to give you the most recent information that is input directly after the shopper leaves your establishment and uploads to your contracted service and the reports are delivered to you in a timely fashion.
There are many different types of interactions you may be interested in having a shopper verify. Are all of your staff in the proper uniform, wearing all the required accessories that represent your brand? Do you require a special greeting or closing when your staff interacts with shoppers? When selling and representing your product, what type of training are you looking to have analyzed? Is every person receiving a fresh and hot sandwich? Perhaps reports are coming in about very long wait times while waiting in line. Timing is critical in many business interactions and qualified mystery shoppers know how to time their interactions to the second. Identifying service and delivery time issues and improving upon them will bring your time conscious patrons back for your product. This reliable data can help you improve service and delivery times and identify gaps in service.
When it comes to the comfort and cleanliness of your business, mystery shoppers always take the time to visit the restroom areas. They give an honest and complete description of the appearance and upkeep of the area as well as noting any problems that need to be corrected. These types of evaluations can also extend to the self-service and dining areas too.
Ensuring Retail Excellence
Perhaps your business model requires that a member of your staff welcome each patron with a friendly greeting as they enter the door. Also, you might require that there be sales staff on your selling floor ready to guide or interact with people looking for assistance. Maybe you want to ensure that your staff is on task and following stocking and safety protocols. There is no request that cannot be addressed. Many different scenarios are in place to gauge all levels of service, to ensure your patrons receive the best quality service every time they visit any of your locations.
In some cases, your business may employ a self-service model. For example, the consumer may come in and pick up a quick grab and go item. The only opportunity for them to interact with a representative of your company is when checking out. The mystery shopper can inspect this interaction to ensure quality service. Is the area free of trash and spills? Is it well stocked and are current sales and policies clear and easily accessible? Is your cashier providing a welcoming smile and asking if they found everything they were looking for? Do they make sure to check shopping baskets for items stored on the bottom to avoid product loss? You can design a custom scenario for the mystery shopper to follow and receive regular data to ensure every person who walks through your door is treated the same.
When a shopper enters your business with a specific purchase in mind, there can be a lot of frustration when many empty shelves or missing items abound. Your store doesn’t want a reputation of not having the products in stock that are in high demand. Keep track of inventory displays with a mystery audit of the product shelves in your stores. Are items that are on sale available and priced correctly with accurate signage? Are the sale items regularly refreshed with new product or straightened up for an eye-pleasing display? These examples of mystery shopping goals are just a few of the many types of service areas that can be evaluated.
Keeping Pace with the Competition
Utilizing the unique perspective of a consumer, a mystery shopper can collect data on many areas that provide detailed and accurate comparisons of price, products and service. Market analysis data is invaluable when deciding on the establishment of a new location and the creation of sales and promotions. With data about your competition and the addition of products not carried by your competitors, you will have a more comprehensive selection that will increase traffic and sales.
Longer term planning goals can use data to enhance your strategies. Improving your store’s layout, product placement and signage can make a big difference in sales and bring more shoppers to your business. The atmosphere, cleanliness and friendliness of your environment in comparison with your competition can also make a big difference. People will always flock to well stocked and clean stores with friendly service.