Mystery shopping: Plan an effective program

mark-516277_1920A well-planned mystery shopping and customer service survey program are really advanced marketing tools that any business should consider using, according to this article. The results can be well worth the investment.

Here are tips on how to set up an effective program: 

1. Give careful thought to what you’d like to accomplish with a mystery shopping and/or customer survey program. Do this before approaching a mystery shopping firm like Customer Perspectives.  Determine what you want to know and determine what is to be measured in the program.  What evaluation methods and tools can you use? A mystery shopping program and customer surveys can show if your customer service is working well.  A well-crafted survey can determine the customer’s viewpoints and opinions, which can help you hone your branding and/or your position in the marketplace. You might start by crafting a program centered around solving whatever is the biggest challenge facing your business at the moment.

2. You can’t find out everything.  Don’t require that the mystery shop or survey encompass everything you think you’d like to know. Focus only on the most important points so as not to overload the shopper or the survey.  This will ensure that your program collects the best possible data.  On your survey, make sure some questions are open-ended.  You’ll get useful insights that can’t be revealed by simple yes-or-no answers.

3. Use the professionals who understand your industry. Trained and experienced mystery shoppers and survey consultants are necessary in order to interpret the results and develop an action plan based on those results. 

4. How do customers view you?  When you get the results of the survey and/or the mystery shop, look for ways that your perception of your customer service and a customer’s perception differ.  Analyzing your results and acting accordingly will help you strengthen your position in the customer’s minds.