How Mystery Shopping Can Help Improve Your Customer Service
By: Ellen Goodwright
Do you need to know exactly how well your business or organization is
serving its customers? Then mystery shopping may be the answer.
Mystery shopping is a process where you employ "secret shoppers" to do business with your company and then report back to you with their experiences - good or bad.
Why mystery shopping is important
The beauty of secret shopping is that you should get a unbiased opinion on all aspects of your business. If you own a store for example you will find out how customers are treated by staff and how easy it was to purchase from you. If you manage a contact center, mystery shoppers can call your employees and you will gain a good understanding of how well the call went.
What makes a good mystery shopper?
When selecting the people or agency to conduct your research, you
will want to ensure that whoever you employ has the qualities and skills
needed to do a good job. They should have good abilities in the
Able to follow instructions
Good with details and memorizing things
They must be objective
Ability to meet deadlines
It is important that you use different people when re-visiting the same branch or calling the same telephone number in the future. This will help ensure some degree of objectivity. Some companies that provide mystery shopping services are:
Shop ‘N Chek Inc., Worldwide
The Secret Shopper Company
Check Mark, Inc.
You may wish to consider hiring certified mystery shoppers. As far as I am aware there are two organizations that offer certification; The Mystery Shopper Provider's Association (MSPA) and The National Center for Professional Mystery Shoppers & Merchandisers (NCPMS).
Measure and reward your people
In summary, mystery shopping can be a great way to find just how good
your customer service is. If the research is conducted regularly then
you will also be able to measure for service consistency. Another
benefit is that you will be able to reward your employees for a job well
done and provide training when and where needed.