If you are a retail business owner, you must always try to improve the products you sell, offer discounts, and make the shopping experience better. You can easily do the first two things, but improving the shopping experience takes much more than training your employees yourself and monitoring everything on the CCTV cam. If you want to perform better than your competitors and make your customers delighted at every visit, you need to hire a mystery shopping agency.
Several retail stores hire these agencies to understand the things they lack in the business, especially what the customers need. When these agencies do their job and deliver you the results and suggestions, you can bring these changes into your store and change the situation completely. Thus, improving your customer service and reputation as the best retail store in the region. Your products matter, and the offers/discounts and coupons are essential. Still, nothing can replace how a customer feels when they enter your store, which is the overall experience of each individual—so the importance of this service is more than ever today.
Is Mystery Shopping Service Necessary for Your Store?
But, what is a mystery shopping or shadow shopping service? Why do retailers hire these agencies? If you have these same questions, you must keep reading the article—find out why people hire these agencies and the benefits of their service.
What is a mystery/shadow shopping service?
Shadow shopping is a method popularly used by research firms and other agencies to measure the quality of job performance, sales & service, regulatory compliance, or to collect certain information about the market and competitors, including the services and products.
You can either use it to analyse your own business or measure the competency of your competitors. In both cases, you will find out the things or skills you lack to attract customers and how to offer the best service.
What are the benefits of this service?
These services help a lot and guide the retailer to improve in multiple areas, such as:
The services will analyse the performance of the employees and mainly the store manager’s capabilities. Once you get the report, you will understand where the problems exist and can work hard to improve them.
Help you understand the customer’s perspective.
When you look at your store as an owner or manager, you may not see any issues, but a customer could be struggling to make a payment or ask something from the staff. When the shadow shoppers complete the shopping and interact with the employees, they will understand (exactly) what a regular customer goes through in the store while shopping. Whether it’s a good or bad experience, they will offer a detailed report to the management/owner.
Monitors the facility conditions
The mystery shoppers will analyse the physical condition of the store like neatness, arrangement of products, placement of customer support desk, etc.
Check whether the employees are following the SOPs
Every store has an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), and the staff needs to perform everything according to the guidelines. If even a single employee doesn’t perform well, the shopping and checking out process will fail.
Identify training needs
All the above will lead to an awareness of areas that need improvement, especially employee training. You can train specific employees who work in core positions and interact directly with the customers.
Hiring mystery shoppers will help you improve your customer service and their experience. It will eventually make your store more attractive and reliable, attracting more customers.