Although I own a nationwide mystery shopping firm, I appreciate that there are many ways to measure customer service. Why choose just one? Indeed, service is SO critical to your company’s success, why not use them all?

1. Survey your most important customers, especially those who have had recent transactions and/or problems. This can be done by mail, phone, intercept and/or an anonymous box in your lobby. Why not try them all?
2. Mystery shop on a REGULAR basis. Although surveys can provide useful information that your customers remember, their scope is limited. Why not find out the reasons behind the answers by using customers – either real customers or playacting prospects? Mystery shoppers can also assess whether procedures, processes and expectations are being executed (e.g. – using charts, cross-sell techniques).
3. Conduct an online search – daily. Dissatisfied customers are likely to complain on websites or in forums such as the Better Business Bureau.
4. Use call monitoring to measure the kind of service being provided by phone.
5. Use website monitoring to assess how internet inquiries are being handled – and how quickly!
6. Get feedback from customers who have complained previously to see how thoroughly and efficiently their problem was solved and find out how they believe the company has improved – or not.
7. Leave a “suggestion box” in a conspicuous spot which invites ideas for improvement as well as complaints.
8. Focus groups. Although these work best to explore a specific product or service being considered, they can provide some feedback about service perceptions.