Five Ideas to Energize your Onsite and Telephone Mystery Shopping Program

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Oct 31, 2012 by Confero Inc.

Need a way to lift your mystery shopping efforts for the upcoming year? With year -end approaching, now is the perfect time to consider ways to revitalize your mystery shops. Here are five easy ways to make meaningful changes:

  1. Take stock of your current mystery shopping program.  Does your telephone mystery shopping program mesh with training and marketing priorities for your company? Are you spending time measuring an area where employees consistently excel, such as greeting for example,  when communication of a new promotion really needs more attention?  If this is the case, be sure to revamp your survey sections, change questions and communicate the new expectations to employees before rolling it out. These steps ensure that your program gains the most relevant information on associate customer service skills and communication of sales initiatives.
  2. Learn  employee opinions regarding your  mystery shop questionnaire.  Start a discussion on expectations for the mystery shops. For example,  do you require employees to thank the customer twice, in two different ways, during your telephone shops? Do you find that employees frequently miss doing this?Perhaps associates find it difficult to incorporate two thank you’s into the conversation in a smooth way.   Gain feedback to see why associates are not doing recommended behaviors. Using the feedback, rework the requirement so that it is more natural, and then readjust your mystery shopping survey to reflect the new requirements.  In this example, you could ask employees to incorporate two ideas into one: “Thanks for visiting today and considering us.”
  3. Offer meaningful rewards. Employee recognition and on the spot rewards go a long way in revitalizing your mystery shopping efforts.  Some companies begin by offering smaller incentives and less frequent rewards, and then build incentives later as they gauge the impact that rewards have on increasing success.  Gift Cards, vacation time, e-prizes, a dinner on the company and other rewards provide new life to both onsite and telephone mystery shopping. To keep rewards meaningful, reward those who make an impact. Take the example of a high end women’s clothing store located in an upscale mall. The mall sponsored the mystery shops for all stores in the mall, and the clothing store employee scored perfectly on the shop.  The sales associate’s manager was awarded an expensive trip, while the sales associate was not recognized in any way.  Incentive strategies like this can only hurt your program, so ensure that those responsible for the success benefit directly from rewards.
  4. Announce great results and awards.   Whether you announce positive results on a company portal or through companywide emails, or use an elaborate employee recognition program, communicating mystery shop result keeps the program new, top of mind and consistent.
  5. Tie results to bonuses.  Take your program one step further. In addition to incentives for each positive mystery shop, consider tying mystery shop performance to associate and manager goals and expectations.  Award bonuses if associates meet mystery shop score targets over the year, as an end of year bonus will motivate associates to continued success.

Tagged: secret shopping, mystery shopping, telephone mystery shopping, employee rewards, recognition,

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