What mystery shoppers can tell you about your business

Wondering what the experience is liking a customer who is visiting your business is difficult as being a business owner means your staff will be well-behaved when you are around. But what about when you aren’t?

One of the ways to find out how the average customer experiences the services your business provides is through hiring a mystery shopper.

Mystery shoppers are normal people who will visit your business to use your services and/or purchase a product. Upon their visit they will be making observations about the friendliness of your staff and the experience they offer the average customer, the cleanliness of your facilities and how easy it was to get their request attended to, they will proceed to make a report of their findings. It is essentially one of the best ways to view your business through the eyes of the customer.

Below we’ve listed a few of the things mystery shoppers can tell you about your business:

Employee customer service skills

One of the first things mystery shoppers will help you evaluate is the customer service that is provided by your employees and the skills they have. They will make note of how your employees greet them and if the staff are attentive and friendly. The reason your employees customer service skills are of high importance is because they are a face to face representation of your brand.

Efficiency of processes

There may be a business that as recently acquired a new point of sale that is believed to be the appropriate tool for the job. Yet an employee uses it to ring up a purchase a client has made and the machine doesn’t work which could lead to be a time consuming process to sort out; your customer may be getting impatient. A mystery shopper will relay what the experience for the customer is like letting you know whether any systems need to be updated.

What you don’t know

Another benefit of hiring a mystery shopper is the fact they will tell you what most customers will not. There is a high percentage of customers that will not say if they are unhappy with a product or service; they’ll take the easy way out and seek elsewhere. Although, they don’t tell you if they are unhappy with something in particular, the percentage is equally as high that they’ll tell other people, friends and family, essentially leaving a negative review.

First impressions

Mystery shoppers can walk into any store for the first time and notice things that may have been overlooked or ignored by you or employees. They will provide you with a detailed description of their first visit, their impression and right any flaws in the store.

Keep in mind that these are only a few things that mystery shoppers can tell you about your business in order to keep you updated about the service you are providing.

Please visit our website for further information about mystery shopping and our services.

Using mystery shopping to improve your business

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve their customer service.

For a business to grow and excel in customer satisfaction, it is important to measure the customer buying experience in an objective manner.

Key elements to success

Mystery shopping is something that allows businesses to acquire feedback on their service from the perspective of the customer. It’s a handy tool that can evaluate the performance of a work team’s customer care, their performance level, training budgets and company mission statements delivery to the core customer sector.

Analyse competitors

Mystery shopping can be utilised for analysing your competitors as potential buyers, essential for well-established companies. Mystery shopping also allows you to gain better knowledge of your competitors, along with their pricing structure and their U.S.P.
It is possible to identify a niche market that may not be occupied by any of your competitors.

Review internal processes and procedures

You will be able to view your customer’s buying experience and the services can offer you the help of documenting a step by step process of purchasing your business’s services and/or products.
It also enables you to detect any issues and make changes to your customer care charter for the benefit of your customers.

Evaluate workers

While mystery shopping is mainly beneficial for customer service, it can also be used as a training aid for your employees. It will expose their professionalism, helpfulness, integrity and knowledge of the business during the buying process.
Customers are not only purchasing your services, they are also purchasing your team and credibility.

Mystery shopping is effective at analysing and evaluating your business’s approach to customers.

Retail Maxim is a mystery shopping company having mystery shopping jobs available across the country.

Is mystery shopping a real job?

It is likely that you are aware of mystery shopping, however, many do no know how mystery shopping is keeping costs in check for the average consumer.

Mystery Shopping Jobs
Mystery shopping is keeping costs in check for the average consumer

Branding

A common task that is assigned to mystery shoppers is checking for brand integration. Seen more frequently in businesses that have had a change in ownership.

The idea is for feedback from the shopper will give the chain owners a sense of how the brand’s identity is translating at the customer’s level. This is a way of saving money as it ensures you are getting what you pay for, as an example, you should not be paying the price of a four-star hotel room that displays the branding of a three-star chain.

Customer service

Recently, businesses have started to pay attention to how they treat their customers.
Companies that use mystery shoppers to audit customer care will benefit from that information to tweak their processes so to be more customer friendly, thus, gaining that extra expenditure of 13% consumers are willing to spend because they received great customer service.

The bottom line

Mystery is shopping is much more than the perks of gaining free food and getting paid for shopping.
It’s a tough role as shoppers will need to a detailed eye and note down everything about their experience, the description filling pages – all of this documentation is for the store owners to use for process improvements.
As long as there is a variety of choice in the places to shop, you ultimately can spend the money how you see fit.
Mystery shoppers grant you to stretch the pound by slimming the possible risk any bad experience could happen in the beginning.

Please visit our mystery shopping jobs page if you think you have what it takes to become a mystery shopper, or if you’d like to know more about the role.

Retail Maxim is a mystery shopping company.

Tips for successful customer support

Mystery shopping is all about satisfying the customer, as their satisfaction is the key component for the success of a business.

Customers are expectant of quick, efficient service; they expect not to be put on hold and will look towards social media to add a complaint or ask a question.

Below, we’ve listed a selection of tips to ensure that your customer service is of the highest standards online:

Deal with common questions

FAQs (frequently asked questions) are a brilliant way of reducing the amount of repetitive questions that are asked, by featuring a well thought-out FAQ on your website, customers will be able to see that their query may have been answered.
Include warranty information, video clips, return and exchange policies and anything you thing customers may find useful from your company; it gives a sense of being ahead of the game.

Instant responses

Automatic responses stating that someone will be replying to a query 24 – 48 hours later is unacceptable, your customers will have sought out service elsewhere by then.
Deter from automated responses and implement a policy somewhere that you will strive to get back to queries within so many hours or as quick as possible.

Speedy on social media

A majority of customer will look to social media to ask questions or complain, and because of platform not being an official means of branding for your business (more for advertisements etc.) you should be able to reply quickly, without solving the question at the present time, but assuring them you are there and have heard their request.

Privacy

A customer’s privacy should be of utmost importance, do not, under any circumstances, ask for a customer’s personal bank details.
This information will not only put them at risk, but your business is likely to make customers feel uncomfortable and they will lose trust in your brand.

Careful of jargon

Ensure that your customer service representatives understand that not every customer they come into contact with will understand the common jargon used in your area of industry.
Use clear replies and be direct when answering questions – too much detail can be confusing.

Be calm

Customer support teams will need to have thick skin to be able to deal with angry customers, it’s not professional to shout at customers who are shouting at you.
By being calm and handling the situation with apologies, it should lower the temper of the customer.

For more information on customer service tips, or our services we offer, please visit our website!

Mystery Shopping: FAQ

Mystery shopping provokes many questions: what it is to what the minimum age to become a mystery shopper is.

What is a mystery shopper?
Someone who is considered a mystery shopper will pose as a customer, all the while assessing the customer service they are receiving by the company or organisation.

How can I become a mystery shopper?
To apply for the position of a mystery shopper, you can view our criteria and apply for a position: Mystery Shopper Criteria

What does mystery shopping entail?
The role of a mystery shopper can be done via email, website survey, face to face visit or home visit.
It’s quite a lengthy list.
What about Telephone Mystery Shopping? Or better Video Mystery Shopping?

What type of person has the ability to become a mystery shopper?
The qualities that are sought out for when looking at potential mystery shoppers are exceptional memory skills, observational and writing skills.
Those who desire to be a mystery shopper must be committed to their work, should be flexible, have the ability to meet deadlines but must be enthusiastic and reliable also.

Can mystery shopping be a full-time profession?
It has yet to be done to make a full living out of a mystery shopper role, as assignments vary with locations and many clients can be specific, as an example, a client may require a female between the ages of 18 and 26 to go to a retail store.
Mystery shopping is perfect for someone who is looking for a side job earning them money.

Are there any disadvantages of becoming a mystery shopper?
There aren’t any disadvantages per say, although once as assignment has been set, it must by all means be seen through from start to finish, within the applied deadline.
Work must be done effectively and efficiently – it should never be revealed that you are a mystery shopper if you are suspected to be one.

Is there a minimum age of becoming a mystery shopper?
There is no official age limit for becoming a mystery shopper, although if you are given an assignment and you are under 18, permission will be required from a parent or guardian.

Do I need qualifications to become a mystery shopper?
To become a mystery shopper, you must be able to speak, read and write in English competently and must have exceptional grammar and punctuation skills for reports that will need to be written.
It is also quite beneficial for you to have access to a computer/laptop with internet and email.

For further information on mystery shopping and our services, do not hesitate to visit our website!

Mystery shoppers: the benefits

Times has evolved from surveys and questionnaires of rating customer experience, mystery shoppers are the new method to extract customer satisfaction.

Below we explore the benefits of employing a mystery shopper within your organisation:

New experience
Some mystery shoppers you have employed may have already visited your company prior employment, but others will be experiencing something entirely new, which means no biased opinions that will affect their view of your business.
This is an opportunity to learn what the experience is like from someone who is trained to give your feedback, similar to the way a real customer would view the sales process.

Customer satisfaction
Mystery shoppers are specifically trained to evaluate customer service, which will give you an insight into the satisfaction of your customers.
You’ll be able to find out if any of your employees are behaving unpleasantly towards customers, which inevitably it leading to low satisfaction scores, and you’ll also be able to see how your employees work when you’re out of the office.

Low cost
Depending on the company and the shopper, mystery shopper services do tend to be at a low cost. It’s something that doesn’t require much investment, to get the sort of feedback you’re receiving.

Keep employees on their toes
Employees that are aware that a mystery shopper may be visiting their store, will be more likely to excel in providing excellent customer service to every customer, knowing that they may be being evaluated.

For more information on mystery shopping, visit our website!

What’s the true cost of poor retail customer service?

Is poor customer service in retail leading to lower sales in the sector?

The retail sector is one of the most used avenues of customer service worldwide, as customer interaction is more common with staff of the big brands compared to various other industries. Though it’s one of the biggest customer service sectors, companies on the high street seemingly suffer from poor levels of customer service. So, what can be done to combat this and if nothing is done, what effects can it have on the customer service industry?

Big brands on the high street are suffering from customer service woes whilst their online counterparts are enjoying continued growth. What can companies do to ensure survival in an ever fierce battle between the high street giants for customer service dominance? What makes a loyal customer?

Below we give you 4 top reasons to that’ll keep a customer coming back for more, ensuring that a customer stays loyal to your brand.

Be sure to monitor and analyse all forms of customer feedback

Mystery shopping is completely designed around doing just this. Need to monitor how your staff are performing in store? Just how helpful are they to the customers that visit you most? Find out all of this and more through our mystery shopping scheme. We can deliver over 10 different forms of customer service analysis, from video mystery shopping, to phone call analysis, exit surveys and more! It’s the best way to gain an insight into what your loyal customers think of you.

Consistency of information is key

Your customers will often call you for an information query, so be sure that you’re giving them consistent information across the board. There’s no point telling one customer one thing and relaying a different message to another: consistency is key. Your levels of consistency can be monitored by our telephone mystery shoppers. It’s a great way to see how you’re performing!

Give answers in a precise and timely manner

Have you made it easy for your customers to find vital information at the drop of a hat? It’s a good idea to have an FAQ section of your site (pictured) as it will usually answer all of the questions that could be asked by your customers. This will reduce customers calling up your store, so it’s a good way of keeping the communication process open without having to speak with your customers directly.

Mystery Shopping FAQs
Mystery Shopping FAQs

Multi-channel engagement

Customer service should be available anytime, anywhere, regardless of the platform that it’s being delivered on. Offer a multi channel service to all which allows a wider audience to interact with you!

What do you think of our ideas? We want to hear from you in the comments below! For more on customer service and mystery shopping, please visit our website.

Who would best suit a Mystery shopping Job?

Mystery Shopping is a tool used to anonymously evaluate customer service, operations, employee integrity, merchandising and product quality.

Mystery ShoppingI’m sure you’ve heard of them, but what do you need to get a mystery shopping job? It’s not necessarily qualifications you’re required to have but they are advised, it’s mainly down to a number of different skills and knowledge behind an individual’s character.

To get a mystery shopping job you must be at least 18 years of age or older which is a minimum requirement. The individual should have knowledge of how to use the internet, don’t worry you don’t have to be a PC guru, just enough knowledge where you can simply access emails and create/send reports from the mystery shopping experience.

 

Qualities needed for a Mystery Shopping Job

 

Reliability in the individual

Reliability in an individual is essential the majority of the time due to the fact a mystery shopper has to be on time and punctual once turning up to any briefing or task, usually this is if the client has asked for a mystery shopper to be in store at a specific time.

Confidence

Confidence is key, always remember that! this is because any real customers will behave naturally and their opinions expressed with what they dislike or like, with any mystery shopper job you are ‘acting’ or posing as a customer once in store, you then have to monitor the store based on a criteria in which has been requested by the client.

Accuracy

Delivering truthful and honest feedback is essential meaning any individual must be 100% accurate when performing the mystery shopping tasks, high level of detail is usually needed in any report stating your opinions, experiences with staff and their performance in certain situations.

Having a good memory

This is an essential and yet basic skill, but any mystery shopper is required to have good memory and the ability to recap experiences to be able to write a detailed report, this is why memorising certain details in accuracy and clarity will help when noting down each task.

 

Access to a camera device/scanner

With every mystery shopping job you’re required to have a camera or any device with a camera as well as a scanner, this is due to the fact that receipts of purchases or photographs which are required for evidence will need to be sent in with the report in order for it to be complete.

 

England has the highest customer service Expectation

Highest Customer service expectation in England, Really?

Having a smile on your face and welcoming customers when they walk through the door is good customer service. Giving shoppers a choice between a traditional checkout lane in a supermarket and an electronic self-checkout is offering your customers experience. Little options like this will stick in the mind of the customer and they’re more likely to visit a place with friendly and helpful staff.

highest customer service expectation England
highest customer service expectation England

 

When delivering your customer service, doing it right and giving customers a great experience is the key for repeat custom. It won’t guarantee to bring in every single customer in the world, yet it’s good practice and vital in leaving a great impressions for new and current customers alike.

“Unique” is the effective word in this instance. Unlike customer service, do what another business’ already does well won’t work. To create a truly memorable experience for the individuals, you must at first give them one that’s unique. Companies worldwide are scrambling to create new, innovative ways for the customers to experience.

For the longest time, companies have stuck to the same basic infrastructure of customer service that they don’t dare to try and mould. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s always good to go that extra mile so customers sit up and notice your efforts.

The UK has the highest expectations of good customer service. In a recent poll, Brits were asked if they’d be willing to pay for good customer service and here’s what they said:

86% of the Britons polled answered: “No, I expect good service as part of doing business”. This is backed by UK professionals, who came second highest in the global rankings for saying that paying a fee for better service would not be beneficial for an organisation or its customers (62%).

Other findings from the report were:

  • A knowledgeable representative and a timely response are the most valuable components of a great service experience.
  • Hotels, online retailers, and banks provide the best customer service experiences
  • Live agent remains the preferred interaction type, followed by email, and then there is a significant drop to web chat, etc
  • Historical information access is deemed the most valuable feature of an interaction
  • Not being able to understand the agent is rated as the most frustrating part of an interaction
  • The ability to get a scheduled call-back was the most desired feature of mobile service applications
  • The most valuable technical service to offer customers is “an easy way to provide feedback.”
  • Comprehensive reporting and analytics are the top features desired by contact centre professionals

Since the recent uptake of social media also, most customers now take to Twitter to complain about their experiences with your company and if they’re followed by the average amount of followers (126) and they RT you’re potential fighting a losing battle before you start.

Make sure your customer service is at a good level and contact Retail Maxim today.