Mystery Shopping has proven to be an indispensable tool for both brands and retailers dedicated to elevating their service quality and ensuring consistent and exceptional customer experiences are delivered throughout their network.
WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING AND WHY IS IT A POWERFUL TOOL?
In today’s continually changing retail landscape, customer satisfaction and loyalty play a pivotal role in the success of any business. Understanding the perceptions and impressions of customers is essential for making informed decisions and identifying areas that require improvement. This is where Mystery Shopping comes into play. By mapping out the customer journey, recruiting shoppers that are aligned to a brands customer demographic and deploying them into field to interact with the
business just like any other customer, brands and retailers gain objective and unbiased insights into the actual service quality and customer experience within their network.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ADVANTAGES OF MYSTERY SHOPPING?
One of the most significant advantages of Mystery Shopping is its ability to evaluate service performance from the customer’s perspective. It provides a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between internal assessments and actual customer perceptions. Traditional internal evaluations might not fully capture the nuances of real-life customer interactions, making it challenging to identify blind spots and areas that require attention. With Mystery Shopping we can comprehensively assess adherence to operation and sales processes and standards. Common areas covered include customer acknowledgement, response times, needs discovery, product knowledge, store cleanliness, as well as an assessment of the employee willingness/friendliness.
HOW ARE THE INSIGHTS USED?
Feedback obtained through Mystery Shopping helps benchmark performance across different locations and time frames. This benchmarking allows them to spot patterns, recognize high performing stores, and identify areas of concern. This information can be used to create targeted training programs and develop action plans to address shortcomings and optimize strengths, ultimately enhancing overall service quality and consistency.
HOW DO MYSTERY SHOPPING PROGRAMS STAY RELEVANT AT A STORE AND TEAM MEMBER LEVEL?
Mystery Shopping fosters a culture of accountability and employee motivation. Knowing that their performance is being assessed anonymously encourages employees to maintain a high level of service delivery consistently. As they strive to provide exceptional experiences to every customer, the quality of service across the business naturally improves.
HOW DO YOU MAXIMISE THE RETURN FROM MYSTERY SHOPPING PROGRAMS?
By continuously incorporating Mystery Shopping as a part of their improvement strategy, brands and retailers demonstrate their commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Dedication to quality service not only enhances customer loyalty but also contributes to positive word-of mouth marketing, leading to increased customer acquisition and higher average spend per customer.
CASE STUDY: RETAIL MYSTERY SHOPPING AT SCALE
Client: Capital Investment Firm (investing in leading shopping centres)
Solution: Mystery Shop & Audit
Activation: Tactical 3 month activation across Australia & New Zealand
The key objectives were:
• Understand the impact points of the end-to-end customer journey from navigation through to access and team member engagement
• Measurement of centre facilities and standards in the eyes of a guest to the centre.
• Barriers and opportunities to customer satisfaction of the centre experience including retailer range, service and environment.
OUR BEST-IN-CLASS APPROACH:
• During the initial Strategy Session we defined clear objectives for the program, which needed to be simple in design, focused on the 4 core customer journeys and measurement needs. This allowed us to provide insights by journey and therefore add value to the unique elements of a centre experience.
• To provide accurate insights, it meant the visit structure had to be organic and as close to a ‘real’ customer as possible. By walking through the centres in collaboration with the client and using customer feedback we were able to ensure that the data was based on the way their guests shop today.
• Each shopper was profiled to the centre’s core customer demographic, age and shopping habits which meant we were able to accurately identify the needs and impacts to guests shopping daily, weekly and less frequently and apply the findings accordingly.
• All visit touchpoints were unique and customised centre by centre to ensure that all customer feedback was aligned to the environment they were in and that all data was actionable post activation.
- 3,000 visits over 12 weeks
- 8.4/10 average centre satisfaction rating
- Actionable insights to centre type, size and age
- Customised dashboard built for all stakeholders by centre, journey, profile & results
- 100% coverage across centres in Australia & New Zealand
Mystery Shopping serves as a powerful and constructive tool for brands and retailers seeking to boost their service quality and maintain consistency in customer experience throughout their network. By tapping into the invaluable insights provided by anonymous evaluators, businesses can fine-tune their operations, identify areas of improvement, and drive positive changes that resonate with their valued customers, ultimately leading to long-term success and sustained growth.
If delivering unparalleled customer experience is part of your DNA, let’s have a chat!