Obtaining Measurable Data With Your Mystery Shopping Survey

Posted on June 2, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

Mystery shopping surveys help your mystery shopping service identify the specific data that you would like to obtain. In order to accomplish this, you've got to put pen to paper and draft out some questions. Asking the right questions can make all the difference -- no matter what you will get answers -- but with the right questions, you will get the answers you need.

To help you accomplish this, here are some tips on developing your mystery shopping survey questions:

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Can You Mystery Shop Your Way To Overnight Success?

Posted on May 31, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

In the perfect world, we could snap our fingers and get whatever we want when we want it. But here in reality, we have to work and wait for those things we want to happen. It is a philosophy to live by in life and in business -- it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to obtain and maintain success. Unfortunately, some businesses seem to think that a mystery shopping company has the ability to bypass the hard work and launch a company in jeopardy to success overnight.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Customer Intercepts and Mystery Shopping Meets Medicine

Posted on May 19, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

Healthcare is a necessary service. Unfortunately, it is also industry that is not known for providing the best customer service. Many healthcare providers believe that regardless of what they do, people are going to come back simply because they have to. The good news is that there are some practices choosing to start looking after their patients, even if the motivations are due to financial incentives.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Combining Mystery Shopping and Customer Feedback

Posted on May 17, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

The best users of mystery shopping programs offer additional methods to capture data that can be used to make necessary improvements. The reason why these different strategies work together to create such a comprehensive program is because they offer a variety of perspectives that -- when combined -- give great insight into the total customer experience. For the most part, mystery shopping programs look at the customer experience from the viewpoint of the customer and that of the store staff.

Mystery shopping
focuses on staff performance -- how well the company executes its operations and customer service objectives based on fact-based observations. Since shoppers are given detailed guidelines in advance on what to look for, mystery shoppers typically visit the store 1 – 4 times each month and focus on quality control, training and incentives. Additionally, Mystery Shoppers are recruited based on demographic profiles that closely match those of a company’s real customers.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Amazon Starts Flash Sale: Late to the Party or Trendsetting?

Posted on May 6, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

We are used to seeing Amazon as a leader in e-commerce. In many ways, it is a bit surprising that they have come so late to the party with the introduction of their own flash sale site, Myhabitat.

But let's not write Amazon off too soon. They've had the chance to see what works and what doesn't by watching other sites like Rue La La, Hautelook and Gilt that started the flash sale trend. Considering Amazon's connections with many major retailers of designer clothing, there is a good chance they might just be in a position to one-up their competition. Or at least attain a strong position as a major player.

Instead of rolling our eyes that Amazon is following a trend rather than setting one, let's look at what Amazon is doing to set themselves apart from others offering something similar.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Aligning the Expectations of Your Customers

Posted on May 4, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

This week, Jon Steinberg of Buzzfeed wrote about the challenges that all businesses face with their consumers and how you can recognize when you're dealing with a customer that is really not a customer. He outlined how those who are true customers with an intent to purchase a product or service will take it or leave what you're offering more or less as it is. Those who have no intent of becoming customers may try to negotiative a different type of offering that's outside of your business structure or they'll walk.

In any business, it can be tempting to give people what they want. After all, if they're coming to you asking for something that you can deliver -- even if it's not what you do -- and you can make a transaction. Every business likes revenue, but you've also got to stick to your core values or you are going to lose your image outright.

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Topics: Customer Experience

QR Code Promotions: A Modern Take on Scratch and Save?

Posted on April 25, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

There is a world of opportunity for retailers looking to get creative in their use of QR codes to generate a little bit of customer interest. However, it would seem that too many have limited themselves to using QR codes like glorified business cards. Individuals that decided to give a code a scan end up landing on a business' social media page, which just isn't a fun use of the technology.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Local Response Aggregates Social Media Posts to Find Your Customers

Posted on April 21, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

Local Response is a new tool that promises to aggregate social media posts to find your customers based on the things they are posting online. It is based on the premise that as a business owner, you just don't have the time to weed through everything yourself to find the right people to reach out to. It compiles all of the necessary data and then identifies the first people you should try and connect with.

It doesn't simply identify those that are mentioning your business by name. It finds people in your local area and looks at interests and routines to determine who might be a captive audience. It takes this data from more than a dozen different social media sites. Once it has identified the individuals your business should be reaching out to, it helps you put together a special offer to hook them.

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Topics: Customer Experience

3 tips to ensure your Mystery Shopping program success

Posted on April 19, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

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.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Coupons & Promotions: Enhancing Customer Experience at the Cost of Your Business?

Posted on April 14, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

In order to be successful in any business, you've got to have limitations on just how far you'll go for your customer. Earlier this week, we focused on how setting certain boundaries can actually improve customer experience. The same applies to the use of promotions and coupons - take it too far to try and please your customer and you will find it comes at the cost of your business. That in no way benefits your clientele.

To recognize why this matters, let's explore what coupons and promotions should accomplish:

  • They create buzz because you're daring to do something exciting or different
  • They create awareness about a new business or new products offered by an established business
  • They increase the number of customer/sales during slow periods

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Topics: Customer Experience

David Rich on Customer Intercepts [VIDEO]

Posted on April 13, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

David Rich, president and CEO of ICCDS, explains Shopper Intercepts in a quick video

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Demonstrating Why Boundaries Matter for Customer Experience

Posted on April 12, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

David Rich's post this week talked on setting boundaries with the level of service you provide and it got me thinking about a few more points on the subject.

One thing you'll notice if you login to the Facebook page of any major retailer is that there is a lot of dissatisfaction being voiced. This is because unhappy people tend to be a little louder than those who are satisfied. In a way, this is a good thing.

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Topics: Customer Experience

What is Mystery Shopping? [VIDEO]

Posted on April 6, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

David Rich, president and CEO of ICCDS, explains Mystery Shopping in a quick video.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Is Social Media an Appropriate Venue to Gauge Customer Experience?

Posted on April 5, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

Social media offers retailers a direct connection to consumers. When this connection is present, an open line of communication is formed between a business and their customers. Both can benefit from this relationship, but should there be lines drawn regarding what can appropriately occur on social media? Take assessing customer experience, for example.

Using social media for this purpose can have both pros and cons.

Pros of Using Social Media for Customer Experience Feedback

  • Social media encourages individuals to be open and voice their opinions
  • When one consumer voices an opinion in a public forum, others are apt to jump in
  • Word of mouth created by consumers may cause businesses to share best practices
  • Consumers can ask questions and reach out to consumers and get an assessment from real shoppers
  • When negative experiences are shared, retailers have the opportunity to publicly resolve the issue

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Topics: Customer Experience

Great service is service with boundaries

Posted on April 4, 2011 by David RichComments

The retail mythology world loves to tell this story.

A women goes into Nordstrom to return snow tires and they take them back without a receipt. Right now, you are probably not questioning the "without a receipt" part. But you are probably scratching your head over the snow tire part.

I didn't think Nordstrom sold snow tires

You are right, they don't. But they took them back anyway.

Now, I'm not sure if the story is true or when it began, but this is pretty extraordinary. The snow tires and woman may be fictitious, but the return policy at Nordstrom is true. Stories like this make me feel comfortable that if anything goes wrong with anything I buy at Nordstrom, it will be taken care of without a hassle.

That is what I call service without boundaries. No doubt, it is good for business. But more often than not, these scenarios backfire because most store associates are not empowered to provide service without boundaries.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience Update