What is Mystery Shopping?
The term mystery shopping might sound like something out of an episode of ScoobyDoo, but it’s actually a very real practice with equally tangible benefits for your business.
Not sure what we’re on about? We’ll explain. In a nutshell, mystery shopping refers to ‘undercover’ interaction to assess the quality of the goods or services provided.
It’s all very exciting and can lead to unprecedented insight for your business. So, let’s get into the benefits.
The primary benefit of mystery shopping is being able to analyse how your business is functioning on a business to consumer (B2C) level. At the end of the day, you want customers or clients to have a positive experience working with you or they simply won’t come back. And that’s why feedback is truly essential.
When it comes to dealing with external parties, factors like your employees’ tone of voice, their level of professionalism and etiquette, or even their general knowledge of your business or service, all come into play.
Through mystery shopping you can evaluate whether your employees are conducting themselves in a way that is up to your standards. And, if those standards aren’t being met, it’s a great way to identify areas for improvement or where further training may be required.
Critical feedback may be hard to swallow. But the best way to improve as a business is to take it on board and nip any issues in the bud. Ignorance may be bliss, but in this case it’s definitely not your friend.
Sometimes, people need to be kept on their toes to feel motivated to do their best. Comfort can often lead to crippling complacency, and we all know that that is the enemy of success. Keeping an element of excitement and stakes alive in your business will give your employees something to work towards and hopefully encourage them to put their best foot forward every step of the way.
An Outside Eye
Every business has its own methods and procedures for carrying out their day-to-day practices. But what if there was a better way for those practices to be performed?
If you’re already overseeing every aspect of your business, you probably don’t have the bandwidth (or mental distance from your work) to assess what is or isn’t working the way it should.
Oftentimes all you need is an outside eye to help identify those tricky problem areas that may have slipped under your radar, until now. Perhaps a specific process can be streamlined to become more efficient, or maybe more checks and balances are required to ensure the consistency and quality of your product or service. Whatever your issue may be, a specialised business consultant could help you detect, and ultimately, resolve it.
If you’ve recently announced a new product or service, finding out how customers feel about it straight off the bat could be invaluable. If you’re not getting the positive feedback you had anticipated, discovering where the problem lies is crucial and mystery shopping could help you do just that.
Analysing the Competition
If you’re working in an especially competitive sector (such as retail or hospitality), keeping tabs on the competition and how they carry out their practices could also give you a leg up on the competition. We recommend asking your respective mystery shopper to carry out the same exercise on competing business to give you a 3D image of what the competition’s offering. Then, use your findings to take your business to a whole new level!
While it’s important to identify areas for improvement, acknowledging what aspects of your business are working well could arguably be even more important. Celebrating employees for their small wins will ultimately boost morale and encourage others to step up to the plate.
Do I carry out my own mystery shopping?
Donning a fake voice and a disguise in the hopes that none of your employees recognise you is always an option, but it’s probably not ideal. Hiring a company that offers specialised business consultancy services (including mystery shopping) to handle the process for you, however, could be your best bet.
Your consultant of choice will know exactly what to look out for, what questions to ask, and how to ensure the process is as beneficial to you as possible. After the fact, your business consultant should also report their findings back to you in a simple and digestible format, with an actionable plan to take you forward.
OK, now what?
Here at the Finesse Group, we have been carrying out mystery shopping and business etiquette training services for over 10 years and pride ourselves on being able to help our clients reach new heights. So, if you’re looking to kick-start your client-facing transformation, get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation. We will provide practical guidance on how you can take daily positive steps towards happy clients and a more profitable bottom line.
There’s nothing not to love about mystery shopping, so why not get started today? Schedule your call with Finesse group here – we’d love to help.