Many companies are now aware of the importance of customer experience for growing their brand. They’ve recognized the advantages of conducting a mystery shopping program in brand auditing, resulting in an increased demand for mystery shopping services.
However, with the sole focus of assessing their organizations, they often forget to give extra thought to what aspects should be measured during the process and how they’ll use the results of the program to improve their customer experience. These lapses result in little to no ROI from the mystery shopping program and an increased distrust in the efficiency of the campaign.
You should know that the success of a mystery shopping program depends on your planning and execution. To greatly improve the success of your program, below are tips to take into consideration the next time you hire a mystery shopping company like SeeLevel HX.
Clearly define your objectives.
Before you hire a mystery shopping agency, identify areas of concern and clearly define your program goals and objectives. Spend time planning and understanding the items you want to measure to improve your brand using mystery shopping services.
When conducting a mystery shopping program, pinpoint which areas need to be analyzed. For example, perhaps you want to observe your employees’ behaviors when interacting with customers. You might also want to measure the response time and efficiency of the services your brand provides.
Mystery shoppers can also be used to evaluate a marketing campaign you’ve launched or to conduct competitive analyses in order to gauge your competition’s business performance.
Mystery shopping services can be executed on almost any aspect of your organization, including marketing, branding, culture, employee behavior, price and merchandise quality. No matter your goal, be sure to clearly identify your objectives prior to executing a program.
Design questionnaires relevant to your brand standards and policies.
When developing the questionnaire mystery shoppers will use, include questions that will provide you with objective answers and actionable insights. Avoid unnecessary questions unrelated to the program objectives and goals.
This doesn’t mean you should disregard the subjective information extracted from the mystery shoppers’ experiences. This kind of information offers a glimpse of how consumers think and feel when they interact with your brand.
Both quantitative and qualitative data are imperative in creating a holistic vision of your brand from the perspective of consumers. Just remember to focus on those that will improve your customer experience and drive your ROI to new heights.
Assessment criteria should be set similar to the way you define rules and guidelines within your organization. Standardizing the measurement of the results of a mystery shopping program is vital to its success.
Avoid having your own employees play the role of mystery shoppers.
Steer clear of using employees to conduct the mystery shopping program. This is a compromised setup that will yield unsatisfactory and misleading findings. Remember that your employees know your SOPs and are familiar with the environment they’ll be evaluating, creating personal biases that can hinder the efficiency of the evaluation.
Always seek counsel from professional mystery shopping companies that instruct secret shoppers on how to conduct impartial evaluations. Work with the agency to ensure data collection best practices are observed.
Review the outcome of the program.
After the program is completed, the mystery shopping company will collect the results, synthesize the data and present actionable insights to your organization.
Fig. 1. Sample infographic from SeeLevel HX
(Source: SeeLevel HX)
With the help of SeeLevel HX, you won’t have to worry about collating the results or interpreting them yourself. Our team of CX experts can handle the synthesis of data and are highly capable of formulating actionable insights you can use to improve the customer experience delivered by your brand.
If mystery shops are conducted regularly, you will begin to see a trend of the impact that acting on the results from a mystery shopping program has on your company policies and overall customer experience.
Choose a reliable mystery shopping agency.
Select a mystery shopping company that has the appropriate tools and experience relative to your industry. You wouldn’t want mystery shoppers who are food connoisseurs to assess your retail shop that sells car parts. Not only would you obtain irrelevant observations but also inaccurate measurements of the areas you want to evaluate.
Just like any other business, mystery shopping agencies come in different shapes and sizes. Some specialize in the retail industry while some may be experts in the finance or entertainment sectors. Still, there are those who have an enormous array of shoppers at their disposal, allowing them to provide mystery shopping services to almost any industry. In example, SeeLevel HX has over 650,000 independent contractors across three continents ready to serve you in the retail, food and beverage, financial services and automotive industries.
There is no such thing as a perfect mystery shopping program. You have to constantly refine your objectives and processes to fill gaps and identify significant details affecting your customer experience. A successful program should translate to improved customer retention and an increase in your company’s profits.
Customer experience has become one of the primary driving forces for business growth and consumer retention. With this, the demand for mystery shopping has risen as is seen by businesses as instrumental in objectively assessing customer experience. It can help your brand meet user expectations and find ways to further improve customer satisfaction. Improvements in brand loyalty, referrals and revenue will naturally follow once you manage to provide a satisfying customer experience.
If you’re looking for the best mystery shopping company, contact SeeLevel HX today.