ABCs of an Effective Mystery Shopping Program

ABCs of an Effective Mystery Shopping Program

A:  Allow time for consideration of mystery shop goals, survey question details and possible scenarios during the set up of a new mystery shopping program .

B:  Build on the information that you gain from your mystery shops so that you can improve and redirect your program periodically.

C:  Customize your mystery shopper survey to reflect your firm’s unique service and sales priorities.

D:  Deliver mystery shop results quickly to location managers so that they can share with their employees.

E:  Evaluate mystery shopping program goals every 4 to 6 months.

F:  Focus on excellent mystery shop results for training examples and poor results for individual discussions.

G:  Grow your business by testing new sales strategies via a mystery shop pilot program.

H:  Help employees improve by discussing an anonymous individual mystery shop with the entire team.

I:   Identify new and better ways to recognize employees for superior results.

J:   Justify the cost of a program by considering how many sales will result from consistent delivery of quality customer service and customer engagement.

K:  Keep managers informed of any mystery shopping program changes, so that they can communicate new expectations to their teams.

L:   Lean toward a firm that deploys mystery shoppers who pose as typical customers rather than experts in their field.

M:  Measure improvement areas and recognize most improved locations.

N:   Nail down times for new employees to conduct a mystery shop –using your mystery shopper survey form – at a competitor location.

O:  Opt for a shorter mystery shopper survey to begin, and reevaluate it later as your team grows accustomed to receiving the information on the mystery shop reports .

P:  Partner with a company that has a consultative, not cookie cutter, approach.

Q:  Quit wondering what the competition is doing.  Mystery shop them, too!

R: Re-mystery shop locations that need more attention.

S: Send mystery shoppers to locations during peak and off-peak hours, busy and slow times to get a true picture.

T:  Tailor the length of the mystery shop to that of a typical customer interaction.

U:  Undertake efforts to clearly explain to employees why your company is beginning a mystery shop program— before the program rolls out.

V:  Validation of mystery shops is an important piece of quality control, so ensure a method is in place.

W: Wait until the first round of mystery shops is over to make final decisions on the survey and other issues.

X:  eXtend the reach of your program to gather data across your footprint and other departments as needed.

Y:   Yield to employee opinions if they make valid points about mystery shop expectations.

Z:   Zero in on ways to complement your mystery shop information with voice of the customer data from IVR or Web customer surveys.

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