Top 10 Mystery Shopping Uses

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May 31, 2012 by Confero Inc.

Last year, we wrote a well-received article about 25 business types for mystery shopping programs, drawing from our years of experience with a variety of clients in many industries.  From convenience stores to upscale retailers to restaurants and medical practices, mystery shopping reports go a long way toward revealing how well employees interact with customers on a daily basis. 

So, how do our clients use mystery shopping? Mostly, mystery shopping is used to find out about those things customers won’t tell you in surveys or social media comments, or issues you can't discover by asking customers.  If our client has a customer service delivery process or set of  procedures in place for fulfilling a brand promise in front of a consumer customer, chances are the process can be mystery shopped.

We’ve compiled our top ten list of mystery shopping uses here.

  1. Determine if associates give their full attention to customers.
    • Are employees texting, reading or talking with each other instead of interacting with customers?
    • Do they seem eager to assist?
  2. Evaluate employee greetings.
    • Are customers spoken to appropriately?
    • Are employees talking to them at all?
  3. Gain information on how well employees present a new promotional item or see if they suggest the item at all.
    • Is the menu-testing point of sale (POS) in place?
    • Are employees mentioning it?
  4. Discover how many employees suggestively sell additional services.
    • Are customers offered larger sizes or additional items?
    • Are these offers genuine or rote?
  5. Find out if employees use the phrases and terminology that your brand prefers or your operations require.
    • “I would be glad to help” vs. “No problem.”
    • “My pleasure” instead of “okay”.
    • The brand-specific terms instead of the generic terms.
    • "May I see your ID please?"
  6. Assess how employees respond when a customer mentions the competition.
    • Do they badmouth the competition?
    • Do they hone in on your own brand’s strengths instead?
  7. Determine if units display correct pricing and signage and if correct prices are in fact charged to the customer.
  8. See if employees make eye contact, shake hands, thank customers, and ask for the sale.
  9. Gauge the average wait time for a customer to be acknowledged, obtain service, and receive items.
    • Transaction times from getting in line to receiving all items.
    • Transaction times from menu ordering to appetizer delivery to entrée delivery to check.
  10. Gather information on the depth of employee product knowledge.
    • Can employees delineate key benefits of high end products and services?
    • Do employees keep up with a required sequence of follow up with customers to whom they have made sales presentations?
    • Are employees following the prescribed sales process?

Tagged: mystery shopper, mystery shopping, suggestive sell, check id, upsell,

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