Every business wants to be its customers’ preferred choice. Be it in terms of customer service, products offered or any other, companies these days want to stay at an edge over their competitors and hence, keep trying some unconventional ways to improve. Implementing a mystery shopping survey is one such way.
Mystery shopping is the process in which an individual is made to personally visit a general store, bank or any other similar place to get an inside view of the type of customer experience (CX) delivered. A successfully executed program is essential to gain an insight into their customers’ experience, measure the proficiency of the employees and determine key behaviors that may help in attaining maximum customer delight.
Since mystery shopping program can capture such minute details that are very likely to be missed by an average reviewer, executing this program can help influence customers’ purchase decisions, attitude and feelings towards the brand in the near future. Therefore, when a business plans to implement this program, it is important to use the skills of an experienced mystery shopper who can get a detailed view of the customer experience offered by the brand.
To ensure its successful implementation, it is significant to follow the best practices of mystery shopping. Read on to know some of the proven methods of a successful mystery shopping program.
1. Predefine Objectives
Be clear and specific about the objectives of the mystery shopping program. Define aspects such as behavioral traits of the employees on seeing a customer entering the store, the profiling questions to be asked, the conclusion of the conversation, the tone of the team members, and others. Being clear about such aspects would ensure the success of the entire program.
2. Include A Mix of Subjective & Objective Questions
Questionnaires play a crucial role in defining the success of a mystery shopping program. While it is essential to keep it simple, asking a mix of subjective and objective questions would be a great idea. Another way of attaining detailed insights about the customers is by asking an objective-based question followed by a comment detail about the customer to share details. This can be a subtle way to ask for further information from the customers without acting completely unusual.
3. Communicate With Brand’s Staff
The mystery shoppers should communicate with the brand’s staff. This is done to collect maximum inputs from them and make sure that there is no critical information missed. Doing so would allow the mystery shopper to plan such a report that contains the most suitable plan of action to be implemented and attain the desired business goals.
4. Use It To Encourage Employees
The idea behind implementing a mystery shoppers program should be to encourage employees. It should never be used as a tool to spy on them as doing so is sure to impact their performance and demotivate them. The program should always have such a design that makes them feel valued, appreciated and instill positivity to follow the set standards.
5. Never Aim For High Scores
It is impressive if you can identify everything positive in a particular brand. However, it is essential to consider it as an indication of changing what you have measured so far. Identifying the specific areas that need improvement and the hidden pain points of the customers is crucial. This would not only help the brand in improving its entire strategy but also in refining their overall customer experience.
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6. Plan An Employee Rewards Program
The brands must understand the value of appreciating their employees frequently. To make it possible, they must plan a strategy to implement a mystery shopping program to identify the jobs well done by particular employees. Assisting the brand in identifying the reasons to reward its employees and make them feel privileged, it is also a great idea to always keep the employees motivated and inspired at work.
7. Deploy Consistent Programs
A brand should never rely on the outcomes attained after successfully executing a mystery shopping program. The best tactic is to implement it consistently. This is important as it can make it easier to achieve relevant insights and identify any loopholes present in the entire brand strategy.
8. Create A Manageable Survey
A mystery shopping survey should be created in such a way that it can capture all the relevant information about the brand’s customers and its employees without hassle. The questions included must be realistic and easy to document with a focus on aspects that differentiate the brand from its competitors.
Measuring the key factors that have the highest impact on customer delight and loyalty, the questions included in the survey should be easy to answer and must not reveal the personal details of any of the participants.
9. Stay Committed
When implementing a mystery shopping program, it is significant to stay committed towards the brand’s mission and area of interest. Follow the specifications stated by the brand, conduct the survey and then, share the feedback in a well-structured way that may help improve their overall operations. It is essential to understand the client’s requirements clearly, or else there would be prejudice attached with the results shared by a mystery shopper.
10. Maintain Integrity
Honesty, integrity, and trust stay at the heart of a mystery shopping program. For the brand as well as the mystery shopper, it is vital to adhere to this practice. As a brand, you must share every minute detail with the service provider. On the other hand, the mystery shopper should also make sure that integrity is well-maintained during the execution of the entire process.
Delivering Excellent Customer Experience
Mystery shopping is an excellent program to measure the performance of a brand’s employees. Enabling them to measure the level of the customer experience offered by the employees, the program aims to collect the most relevant customer and employee-related insights by asking the right questions. Therefore, it is time for the brands to understand that a mystery shopping program is an opportunity for them to engage their customers as well as employees better and find ways to deliver an exceptional customer experience.