Have you considered using a mystery shopper service as a way to learn more about your business and how you can improve your service? A mystery shopper is someone who visits your retail location while pretending to be a customer, so that they can observe what the experience is like. They will pay attention to details such as the cleanliness of the premises, the use of displays and signs, the friendliness of the staff and how the interaction was handled. They will then create a report based on these observations so that you can see how your business needs to improve. Before this though you will sit down with the company to create a tailored field marketing plan.

There are many reasons why a mystery shopping company can offer a huge benefit to your business, such as:

Seeing Your Business through the Eyes of Your Customer

Let’s face it, if you are the manager it is inevitable that your employees will act differently when you are in the store. But how does the store function when you are not there? The mystery shopper appears to be just any other customer, so they will be able to get a realistic perspective of what shopping at your business is like. There is no other way that someone within the company can effectively get this perspective.

Getting Advice from Experts

Mystery shoppers know a lot about customer service, so the feedback they give is very valuable. You can ask ordinary customers and they will have feedback to give you about whether or not they enjoyed the interaction with your sales staff, but they might not be able to offer professional, tested advice on how you can improve. A mystery shopper will be able to pinpoint where you need to improve, then offer you an action plan of how you can offer a better experience for your customers.

Spotting Problems You Might Have Missed

Sometimes when we look at the same thing every day, we can become blind to the details and not notice when something is wrong. Then, when someone with fresh eyes steps into the situation they can spot the flaw right away. For example, your display shelves might be starting to sag and look old – but since you look at them every day you might not have noticed. A mystery shopper will see them for the first time and point out the issue, so that you can replace the shelves.

Seeing Your Business at All Hours of the Day

You can arrange for your mystery shopper to visit your business at all hours of the day, so that they can see what the experience is like for the customer during these times. Perhaps visiting your store in the middle of the day is a very pleasant experience, but during the after-work rush it is busy and crowded and the queues are a nightmare. If this is the case, you might decide to rearrange your staff schedules so that you have more cashiers working during the busiest times. This can help to make the experience of being in your retail location enjoyable at all times.

Focusing on Specific Aspects

Another benefit is that you can have a meeting in advance with your mystery shopper and talk with them about something specific that you would like them to focus on when looking at your business. For example, if you want them to look at whether or not a particular promotion is being advertised effectively or whether employees are following a certain procedure, your mystery shopper can keep an eye out for something like this.

Compare Your Business with Your Competitors

Mystery shoppers can also help by comparing what your company has to offer with your competitors. How do you stack up against the competition and what can you do to gain that competitive edge? What does your company offer that is unique that no one else has to offer? This feedback can be very helpful when it comes to beating the competition and coming out as the most popular option in your particular niche – whatever that niche might be.

These are just a few of the ways that a mystery shopper can help you to improve your business by secretly visiting your location and posing as a shopper. They will be able to accurately assess the experience of shopping at your store and give you concrete feedback that you can use to improve. It can be a very efficient way for you to fine tune your customer service, especially if you hire a professional, experienced mystery shopping company such as Tactical Solutions.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].

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