Too often, businesses make the assumption that installing a mystery shopping program will guarantee increased customer satisfaction and sales growth. In reality, retailers play a large part in the process and bad choices may lead to ineffective results.
Pulling the plug on a mystery shopping program because scores plateau temporarily is one of the most common mistakes retailers make. Ensure you don't fall into this trap.
Below are some some guidelines on what you can do as a retailer to make sure your mystery shopping program works to its maximum benefit.
- Shop the right stores - you may not feel it's necessary to use a mystery shopping program to see what's happening at your stores with the top sales volume. But wouldn't you like to know what they're doing right that could help other stores? Or what they could be doing to perform even better than they are already? Ensure you don't forget about your top shrink stores either; it's not just the least profitable stores that can benefit.
- Recognize all positive efforts of stores based on shopping results - just because you haven't seen a sharp incline of profits doesn't mean your stores aren't doing something right. When reviewing your shopper reports, ensure you give kudos where it's due. Recognize the stores that have been showing an improvement with customer experience initiatives, efficiency and more.
- Make sure you communicate throughout the process - using a mystery shopping program doesn't replace the need for hands-on actions. Schedule regular meetings with store management, and stay engaged with customers. The latter can be accomplished by keeping customers informed of initiatives with contests and customer satisfaction programs.
Remember, a mystery shopping program will take you much of the way, but you've got to take steps to make sure you make the most of the tools you're given!