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A secret shopping society can help any business, whether it is a small operation that is just starting out or a big corporation. Unlike other business assessment strategies, mystery shopping offers you quality control feedback from the perspective of the consumer. It is also less expensive than other business assessment methods.
How It Works
As the term implies, a secret shopping society allows you to send out a mystery shopper to act as a normal customer. However, before doing this, the mystery shopping company and you need to sit down and work out a survey model for the shopper to work with. This will be based on the kind of specific information you are looking for as well the improvements you want to make. The mystery shopper can also work within specific shopping scenarios, like returning merchandise, for example. Some services also allow you to pick mystery shoppers that fit a specific customer profile. While this technique has been largely used in the retail industry, a number of non-profit organizations, churches and housing boards have also started using these services.
A secret shopping society will generally look out for things like how many employees were present when they entered the store. They will also time how long it takes an employee to come forward and greet them – when this happens the name of the employee is noted. The mystery shopper will also take note of whether the employee is friendly and helpful. Speed of service, whether a sale is made or not and whether the employee asks them to visit the shop again are also noted. Apart from that, the mystery shopper will look out for the cleanliness of the store, effectiveness of the product displays as well as the grooming and presentation of the employees.
Why It Works
Compared to other assessment strategies, employing an anonymous society can cost you a lot less and definitely increase your sales. Rather than doing this as a one-off, you can use a mystery shopper on a regular basis. This will allow you to see whether improvements have been made on the ground level and whether they are working. Conversely, it also allows you to see which employees are not just doing their job, but are also putting in a little extra. That will make your job a lot easier when it is time to dole out bonuses and promotions. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using mystery shoppers is that the assessment is made right from the point of view of the customer. Customer feedback is crucial to any business but the truth is that most people will only offer feedback if something very bad or very good has happened to them. It is rare to find someone who will give feedback on an everyday shopping scenario.
Apart from that, employee performance is very different when the boss is around. A mystery shopper will give you a completely unbiased view of how your employees function on a day-to-day basis. This will make it much easier for you to see which employees, managers or sales tactics are working and which need to be changed. At the end of the day, the services of this kind of society will help you assess whether the service you provide live up to the standards laid out in your customer service edict.
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