One way for a company to get information quickly about how well its employees are meeting their customers’ needs is to have a mystery shopper visit the place of business. During the visit, the shopper will observe and evaluate the environment as well as the way that staff members respond to them.
Once the “shop” has been completed, the shopper prepares a detailed report about his or her experience. It includes the mystery shopper’s overall impression of the location’s overall appearance, how and when the shopper was greeted by a staff member, whether the staff members are knowledgeable about the products they are selling, and whether the shopper’s purchase was rung through without incident.
The mystery shopper may also be asked to make note of whether the staff member tried to sell them additional products or services during the visit, as well as whether they were thanked for their purchase and invited to come back again.
These details may seem small, but may make the difference between building a business made up of a number of repeat customers and having someone visit a business and decide never to go back. Not only has the business lost that customer, but people who are not happy with the service they have received from a company are likely to share their impressions with people they know.
Once a business has got a reputation as a place that doesn’t look after its customers well, it is exceedingly difficult to re-establish goodwill among the public. Many businesses are selling similar products or providing services that their customers can get elsewhere. The only thing that differentiates one business from another is the level of service that it provides.
If a report prepared by a mystery shopper indicates that there is a problem with customer service, the business owner and managers can use it as an opportunity to make changes to existing policies or to improve training programs.
The role of the mystery shopper is much more than paying someone to go shopping. It is an important part of an overall plan for businesses to continue to improve the level of service they are providing to their customers. Consumers have many choices when it comes to where they are going to spend their hard-earned money, and a savvy business owner is going to do everything in their power to keep customers coming back.