How Will A Mystery Shopper Campaign Help My Store?
If you’re going to make improvements to your business, then frequent reflection and analysis will help you to gather the requisite information. After all, there’s no way to make improvements if you’re unable to identify the areas where they might be made.
When it comes to retail, one of the principle areas of concern should be improving the customer’s experience. Among the best ways of gathering information about the customer’s experience, moreover, is through a mystery shopper campaign. This involves sending an anonymous person into a store and having them collect feedback on the store’s performance. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a mystery shopping agency, UK-based, like Tactical Solutions.
Monitoring the state of the store
The primary purpose of a mystery shopper is to keep track of the state of the store. If the shelves are dirty and the floor is covered in dust and grime, a mystery shopper’s report will allow you to take note of it. This is especially worthwhile in areas where problems can develop quickly – like the toilets. If the facilities are in a poor condition, then this is sure to reflect badly on the entire business – thus getting an outside perspective on them is crucial.
Monitoring employee competence
As well as the physical state of the store, you’ll also want an outside view of the staff who keep it running. This is something which you’ll be unable to gain yourself, particularly if you’re a highly-visible and widely-recognised member of staff. No-one is going to give the same experience to their boss on the checkouts that they might grant to an ordinary customer.
Once your mystery shopper reports have collected enough information about which of your staff are performing well and which are performing badly, you’ll be able to take corrective action, and reward staff who consistently perform well.
Providing employees with incentives
Naturally, if your staff are aware of the possibility of a mystery shopper turning up at any given moment, they’ll alter their behaviour accordingly. They’ll begin to treat each and every customer as though they might be judging them on their performance – which can only be fantastic from a performance point of view, even if no mystery shopper were to ever turn up. Try to provide incentives to your employees for good performance – consistently high mystery shopping results over the course of several months might result in a company-wide bonus, for example.
Re-enforcing promotion campaigns
Promotion campaigns can work wonders in driving sales. But they’re only able to do this if they’re correctly implemented – which requires the input of the staff themselves. Consistently asking for loyalty cards at checkout is a good way to maximise this, and it’s a step that can be easily incorporated into a procedure. A mystery shopper will be able to check whether promotional displays are appropriately prominent, and that loyalty campaigns are being appropriately pursued.
Providing bespoke feedback
One of the best things about mystery shopper services is that they can be tailored precisely to the needs of the store and those managing it. Since no two retailers are built quite alike, the ability to craft a bespoke service will be a welcome one. You might devise specific, known areas of weakness that your mystery shopper will be on the lookout for. On the other hand, you might have established an area of consistent excellence that you’ll be looking to perpetuate – and a mystery shopper will be able to check whether standards remain high.
Drawing in new customers is one of the hardest things for a modern business to do. As such, it’s crucial that once custom is attracted, it’s retained. This means shaping a customer experience that’ll foster loyalty. Customers, fortunately, are highly unlikely to switch their allegiance unless they’re given an especially good reason to do so. A protracted decline in the quality of the service they’re receiving will do exactly that.
By bringing in mystery shoppers on a regular basis, you’ll be able to identify and arrest potential decline, as well as providing a series of fantastic reasons to prevent such decline occurring in the first place.
Naturally, just as all stores vary in the quality of service they provide, so too do the mystery shopping agencies which assess them. You’ll want to go with an organisation that’s reputable, and build a fruitful relationship with them – then, in time, you’ll be able to form a mass of information that you’ll be able to rely on when making decisions in the future!