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Multiple Uses of Mystery Shopping

Finishing time:2016/3/4 12:02:11    Announcer:TRISEARCHER

Multiple Uses of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping can help you attract more customers, and this method is widely recognized as a valuable marketing and customer service means. A mystery shopping mode can be realized via lots of different means, which is often not agreed by people. Following are a few suggestions: : 

Preparation for the new round competition 

You’re smart enough if you know in advance the upcoming competition, and meanwhile, you have done what you can to get prepared. The smart move also includes understanding your employee service level. nbsp;

A long-term client of some company possesses seven branches of department stores in two states of US. When they heard that some domestic joint venture will establish a flagship store besides one of their own branch, and the market positioning is the same as theirs, the department store formulate a two-month intensive mystery shopping research. It has two objectives. One is to get a “snapshot” of “how staffs treat their consumers everyday”. The client wants to know if their staffs greet, help and thank customers in a same way each day. Therefore, they target at salesperson and cashiers.  

Secondly, the client would like to know if their employees will talk with customers about service pressure during shopping season in December every year. Obviously, it will require some subjective judgment of mystery shoppers, and we ask each shopper to write down effective evidence that support their opinion in the final report. The aim of “snapshot” is to find out advantages and also deficiencies in management and training.  



Monitor Competitors  

Close attention on current competition is also a valuable use of mystery shopping. Many of our clients not only evaluate their own status quo, they also assess their closest competitors. Clients will apply the same evaluation mode to the same customers of each opponent company, and then make judgment based on their own standard, so as to get more information regarding the competition. The same as supermarkets and clothing retailers, this method has been successfully applied in our bank clients.  



Employee Commendation/ Incentive system  

This kind of reward system is a good application of mystery shopping mode. “Supervise employees to do the right thing” is a strengthening of company training scheme. This system will also enhance loyalty of its employees to make them better serve their company.  

In order to establish an effective employee commendation system, firstly, you have to be clear of what you need to recognize. Is it a basic service facility, or the new product or new service you’re working on, and you want to know if it’s acceptable to consumers? Or you may only want your staffs to remain alert since every consumer might be a mystery shopper. If an employee receives acclaim from mystery shoppers, the objectives have been achieved to some degree. The recognition or reward can be realized through cash, coupons, silk banner, trophy, award letter, or even set up an eye-catching “Star service station”, etc.  

Incentive system is closely linked with commendation one. Customer service evaluation is a part of code of conduct, and it determines bonus of employees. And it’s often a part of competition, through which higher score is achieved if a certain store or area wins in the area of customer service.   

Sometimes we would be surprised of how importance the mystery shopping report is to personal performance evaluation. From our perspective, although it’s helpful to record employee behavior mode, it can’t be served as the only basis for performance assessment.  



Training Evaluation  

Mystery shopping is mostly used to evaluate employee training standard. It’s used to assess employee training level. Before training being carried out, the current employee service level is tested so as to work out, execute and finish training plan.  

Employee service level is tested before training in order to make a benchmark, thus trainers can determine the problems need to be solved, and presently what have done successfully and what area need to be strengthened.  

The training can be carried out either in whole company or in a specified branch or area. No matter what kind of training it is, the most successful ones are those with determined targets, and pursue feasible results. They should consider in advance of company training standard, prior training results, and quality of participants.  

The after-training customer evaluation is also important. Only through this way, can one make excellent training result more obvious. Before a training plan starts, mystery shopping can only simply highlight the successful part of training. The techniques and methods decided by the trainer can effectively deliver the message to employees, and can be adopted in future training sessions. In a few month or even longer time after training, some areas will be continuously improved, while deficient aspects can also be strengthened.  

A thoughtful and well-managed mystery shopping plan can provide valuable feedback regarding company employee recruitment and training. Possessing the idea of the next consumer might be mystery shopper”, staffs can improve their service sprit, and in turn enhance service quality. In addition, if test standard is set up with positive attitude, it’s easier for staffs to accept, because some instructions might cause misunderstanding and confusion among staffs.  

The ongoing training and evaluation play an important role in reaching high-standard service quality. It requires employee loyalty and important job assigned to them. Mystery shopping study is the optimal way to test if your employees have provided the best service, and help you find the most suitable timing to deliver training.

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