Mystery shopping: A way to know thy competition?

Image for Mystery Shopping A Way to Know Thy Competition Post-485855_1920Your business may stand out from the crowd today, but to think it always will is to put yourself in danger of losing customers. Someone else out there is, no doubt, working at this very moment on something bigger, better, and different from you.

According to this article, to stay on top of things you need to know some specifics about your potential competitors:

  1. Their target market
  2. Their range of services and products
  3. Any options or alternatives they offer
  4. Where they are located
  5. Their online options in product, delivery and fees

In short, you need to research your competitors as if you were a customer. And, to do that, you need to make direct comparisons between your product or service and theirs. Mystery shopping is one excellent tool to use in this process. By sending in mystery shoppers, you can find out if the competitors’ inspiring quotes, great prices, or value statements in their advertisements really ring true in person.

Mystery Shopping The Competition

You could design a mystery shop that measures:

  1. were service staff groomed and dressed appropriately?
  2. did they offer a friendly welcome and acknowledge waiting customers?
  3. did staff answer questions appropriately and offer alternatives?
  4. were transactions handled well–they were correct and done in a timely fashion?

These four measurements could give you a window into understanding whether your competitors are a threat already or could become one – in the arena of customer service.

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