Mystery shopping has been around for several decades already. Businesses, especially those in the retail industry, use this data gathering method to improve their overall customer satisfaction rating.

This form of consumer research enables companies to solve and even prevent problems through the help of secret or mystery shoppers. These individuals pretend as a customer to evaluate the quality of an establishment’s services, products, and processes.

If your retail business wants to incorporate secret shopping into your strategy, you’re heading to the right path. Keep reading to find out why letting someone conduct a mystery audit for your store is a clever decision.

How Mystery Shops Benefit You

Measure Product/Service Quality

Having a fresh pair of eyes aids in measuring product or service quality. Come on. It’s hard to admit that there’s wrong about your service or product because it’s yours, after all.

When you hire a mystery shopper, things can be examined objectively. Your employees will never know that they’re being evaluated because secret shoppers are disguised as a regular customer.

Through this paid consumer, you will know a lot of things: the sales techniques that your staff are using, their way of handling complaints, their knowledge towards a product. In short, you can assess how great or poor their customer service skills are.

Assure Customer Relationship

Customer service quality links directly to customer relationship. That’s why you should set a good impression the moment your customers set their feet in your store.

While there are many ways to build rapport with customers, a mystery shopping audit never fails to do its job. The result of audits can help your frontline improve their customer service skills.

All the feedback that your employees received from the secret shopper can be used as a guide for improvement. If the anonymous shopper reported that your frontline employees aren’t welcoming enough, then they must speak with a smile to build an emotional connection.

Improve Customer Retention

Every business aims to retain as many customers as possible. When customers’ lifetime value increases, businesses boost their revenue as well.

This is where secret shopping comes into play. Every actionable insight that your store gained from the customer research program can lead to better service and solid customer relationship.

Once the first two are established, customer retention comes next. Since your staff are customer service rock stars and excellent at adapting to every type of customers, then the customers they have dealt with will choose your company over the competition.

Enforce Employee Integrity

Another essential benefit of mystery shopping is employee integrity and knowledge assessment. See how it links to customer service quality?

With the careful and honest feedback of mystery shoppers, you will determine your staff’s level of knowledge and their ability to find solutions that meet customer needs.

Remember, product knowledge is the substance of delivering exceptional customer service. So if your employees are accommodating but lacking sufficient knowledge to the product/s you’re selling, then everything will fall short.

Determine Training Needs

Since you have assessed your workforce’s product knowledge and their skills, it will be easy for you to determine important training needs.

Mystery shopping programs allow you to make the grey areas black or white. You will find answers to questions like “what did my employees do wrong?” or “what skills do they lack?” 

Put simply, their feedback can turn into insightful information that you can use for staff training. From there, you can develop a customer service training programme that covers main principles including handling customer complaints, staying proactive, and maintaining professionalism. 

Check Facility Condition

Aside from measuring your product quality and your staff’s competencies, a mystery audit also allows you to check your facility condition.

Sure, you can conduct a site audit on your physical store. But sometimes, it’s hard to spot errors if you’re looking at something you have built.

This is why you need a different person who’s neither your friend nor your relative to receive objective observations. In doing so, you will know if your store is neat and if the products are laid out on the shelves impeccably, or the other way around. 

Evaluate Competition

Above all, commissioning the service of a silent or secret consumer allows you to keep tabs on competitors.

Having someone to mystery shop for you is a great privilege. Imagine, you will get answers to an infinite number of questions not only relating to customer service but also to your competitors’ performance.

Keep in mind that the competition in the retail industry is fierce. Knowing how your competitors perform, what strategies are they using, how strong are their customer relationships, or how clean their stores are can help you find out where you stand and can help you improve.

Hop In. Consider Mystery Shops.

Mystery shopping is your silent partner in the pursuit of truth; it’s worth a try for it offers your business a long list of benefits.

So if you haven’t done this consumer research method before, now is the time to hop in. Contact a mystery audit company to reap the above benefits on autopilot.