Tag: retail

  • Mystery Shopping Program Guide: Retail Mystery Shopping [Infographic]

    March 31, 2015

    This checklist includes considerations for retail mystery shopping programs.

    Retail Mystery Shopping Guide Infographic

  • Retail Level Employees Still Characterize Brand

    August 28, 2012

    You may hope that your associates embody your brand, but do you sometimes fear that employees don’t quite measure up to your brand’s image? When you achieve parity between brand and how your employees interact with customers, it pays off. When associates don’t mirror your brand, it costs companies plenty.

    Social media customer interactions constantly evolve and serve to build the brand. As an example, 48% of consumers who used social media for customer service indicated that they used it to praise a company for a positive experience. Although social media creates impact, one fact remains the same: retail level associates remain a large part of the brand experience. In increasingly competitive environments with fast service expectations and sweeping technological changes, the store continues to be a mainstay.

  • Mixed Messages and Mixed Research: Mystery Shops, Customer Surveys and Social Media

    May 31, 2012

    On the spot restaurant reviews, customer service remarks, and feedback on wait times. Whatever customers talk about online, managers immediately learn about customer feelings when they monitor social media. While these instantaneous comments are an important part of understanding customer opinions, the feedback is very different from customer experience services such as mystery shops and customer satisfaction surveys.

    Casual online comments travel fast, and make a substantial impact on potential customer buying decisions as well as employee morale. Onsite and telephone mystery shopping results help companies reward employees for positive sales behaviors and fine tune training efforts. Customer opinions through web or mobile surveys provide honest input about employees and services. With these differences in mind, and the added complexity of random online comments, many companies wonder how all three types of research fit together.

  • Prepare Employees to Wow Empowered Customers in this Buyer’s Market

    April 30, 2012

    The shift in the way that retail associates and customers interact in today’s store environment is dramatic.  Before, customers simply entered the store, interacted with a salesperson, found the right item, and paid for it at list price.

    Now, because consumers capture competitive product details swiftly with the tap of a mobile device, they challenge store employees to provide popular products at the lowest price. Customers call the shots, while retail managers do their best to guide employees toward effective interaction with this sophisticated segment.

    Elaine Buxton, President of Confero, recently spoke with Software Advice about this topic, in the  article “Empowering Associates to Assist the Educated Consumer.” She comments on the major challenges of arming employees

  • Making the Most of Customer Wait Times

    April 29, 2012

    In 2009, our own Rob Barry, Confero Account Executive, spoke with the Wall Street Journal’s “The Numbers Guy” blogger Carl Bialik forhis Waiting Game article. Rob provided insight from his experience managing mystery shopping programs for grocery store clients. Technology is moving at a much faster pace than 2009, and customer waiting time is a topic worth revisiting. 

    Customers Waiting in Line

    Whether you manage a bank, restaurant, service or store, you know that it’s not realistic to reduce wait times for customers in every circumstance. If your company is one that prides itself on impressive and personalized service for every customer, wait times are inevitable. There are ways, however, to create more enjoyable waits for customers, and generate additional sales at the same time.

    Developing customized mystery shopping programs across many industries has allowed us to see a variety of wait time strategies.  Through measurement of these strategies and our own observations, here are ways that some organizations convert tiresome wait times into positive customer experiences:

    • Automotive or food service companies arrange retail space so that customers view the employees working, whether it an associate who cooks a food order, or an employee who repairs or washes your vehicle.  This is a great way to show customers the quality behind your service while at the same time eliminating boring waits.
    • At some Chick Fil-a locations, employees stand near the drive thru entry point and key in orders with