Nearly all customer facing businesses, from retailers to restaurants to hotels, utilize some type of mystery shopping program. These programs are designed to measure the customer experience, identify room for improvement and report that business is adhering to company and industry guidelines. Shop programs provide a wealth of information and this feedback is then used to create a best practices system for the individual business. In doing so, businesses can make changes to improve customer service that can ramp up profits. As a matter of fact, in May of 2011, American Express released a poll that reveals that 70% of Americans are prepared to spend an average of 13% more with companies that they feel provide outstanding customer service.
American Express Mystery Shopping Survey
While managers at corporate headquarters, affecting national locations, are typically the decision makers when it comes to mystery shopping services, more and more individual franchisees are opting to engage in their own shop program. The shop data is available directly to the franchisee and is not shared with those at corporate. Jancyn Evaluation Shops, parent of Customer Perspectives and based in San Jose, California, has developed a variety of programs just for these conscientious franchise owners. The franchisee mystery shopping programs are designed to work in tandem with already established corporate goals and standards.
“Franchisees are starting to take the bull by the horns when it comes to gauging the performance of their individual location or locations,” states Jancyn/Customer Perspectives Vice President Vicki Dempsey, “they are smart business owners who take responsibility for their training and customer service actions. In a field where all stores seem to be created equal, they want to be exemplary examples of the promoted brand values.”
Per a 2013 Wall Street Journal report by the the most popular franchise industry sectors are quick service restaurants, lodging and business related (e.g., tax services). This same report also indicates that 36% of franchise operators actually own more than one location and these multi-unit operators account for 54% of all outlets. It is clear that franchising is the backbone of the American economy.
“With multiple locations, my Jancyn shop reports mean I get store specific feedback that I can use to continuously improve the customer experience”, says Michael Stajer of Tonsor Management who owns and operates franchised Cost Cutters and Roosters hair salons throughout California. For their guests, the salons offer best in class service, pricing and professional stylists. For professional stylists and barbers, they offer top pay packages, training and education in the fast paced salons.
The feedback these franchisees are looking for may differ from what their corporate mystery shopping program provides. This is where Jancyn steps in to fill this gap in mystery shop reporting.
Ms. Dempsey goes on to say that these services can be custom designed for a variety of industries and there is no specific business that would not benefit from customer retention, repurchase and referrals that a mystery shop program provides.