I recently came across an article on understanding the current state of your customer experience, by CX expert Annette Franz (@annettefranz), which gave some great tips on giving mystery shopping a try – and why you should do so. For me they include (but are not limited to):
- It’s the only methodology that can reliably tell you what your staff are doing
- It works locally, and – when aggregated – gives you accurate and actionable information
- Weighted scoring and focus areas can highlight important issues relating to key customer moments and profitability
- It delivers measurable ROI when used to enhance upselling, cross-selling and closing
And just in case you still have any doubts, let’s debunk three of the most common myths of mystery shopping.
We’ve done mystery shopping before so we don’t need to do it again
We conducted a study with a major retail bank, which showed that one year after stopping mystery shopping activity, staff performance had dropped substantially. If you want to reduce activity, it’s worth considering scaling back frequency and rather than stopping altogether.
Remember the old adage: what gets measured gets done.
It’s expensive – we get more feedback for less through customer satisfaction surveys
Comparing satisfaction surveys with mystery shopping is like comparing apples and oranges. Having plenty of feedback is valuable, but it’s not the same as understanding the detail of the experience, the behaviour of your team towards your customers, and how your customers are left feeling.
What you learn through mystery shopping not only helps you improve service, it can also help you significantly increased conversion and upsell rates.
Staff don’t like it, they don’t trust the mystery shoppers
And it’s true that in many organisations mystery shopping is seen as a ‘big stick’. Yet for companies that take the right approach – obtaining staff buy-in and integrating programmes – mystery shopping becomes just the opposite, as a valuable part of employee engagement, learning and recognition.
For complete peace of mind, make sure your provider has a robust quality management system – and ask what their appeal rate is, too (our typical appeal rate is less than 3%, and less than 1% are upheld).
Mystery shopping may not be new, and isn’t usually very sexy either. But there are times when tried-and-trusted methodology is simply the best. For your customers, your employees, and for your bottom line.
* The article is re-published with the kind permission from Jamie Thorpe, Customer Experience & Engagement Expert | Sales, Service & Design with Grass Roots. You can read and comment on the original piece on LinkedIn. Original date of the publication: 21 November 2016.
Photography: The image from the original publication is used.