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When it comes to impartial business research, an anonymous shopping program can be an incredibly effective tool. Unlike a number of other research strategies, anonymous shopping has the advantage of giving you a clear assessment of what a shoppers experience is really like in your business. You can get a candid and impartial view of how employees and your store operate on a regular basis. Doing this kinds of assignments on a regular basis can ensure that your business does not end up making the same mistakes, repeatedly.
The Root of the Problem
A secret shopping program can get to the root of problematic situations and scenarios like no other research strategy can. In a number of cases, an employer will find that they are actually losing customers but they cannot find the source of this problem. It would appear that everything from workforce to merchandise available is all on the right track – and yet, something is not right. For some reason, your business is not pulling in the kind of profits and customers that it should. In these scenarios, it can be difficult to assess just where and what the problem is.
This is the perfect time to bring a program into the picture. By hiring a secret shopper, you are essentially putting a spy on your ground floor operations. They will appear to be ordinary customers. However, they will be taking careful notes about different aspects of your business. For instance, they can make assessments of product displays and signage- they can even take pictures if necessary. A hidden shopper can also give you a rundown on your employees, ranging from how long it took for one of them to greet the customer to their personal appearance.
How it Helps
The biggest advantage of any program is that it gives you feedback from the perspective of your customers. For a business that seems to be losing customers and cannot understand why, this can be a huge revelation. They might find that their product displays are not effective enough- for a customer who is in a hurry, this is often incentive enough to try another store. In a number of cases, the customer service or employee behavior on the ground floor might not be very good. This too can be a huge reason for customers to try other stores. On the other hand, these shopping assignments can also show you which areas are doing well in your business. If there are certain employees who seem to be going out of their way to help customers, you will be able to learn about them as well.
At the end of the day, a program goes right to the root of your business operations. By viewing things from the perspective of a customer, you will get a clear idea of what a customer needs and what they get from your business. You will be able to give a boost to employees who deserve it and deal with the people that need to pick up the slack. You will also be able to make precise adjustments to problem areas – do the product displays need to be brought to the front of the store. Should some merchandise be given more visibility. These are all things can be considered with the feedback from your program.
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