In this tech-driven age, the "Voice of the Customer" is getting bigger and louder every day. The importance of what someone experiences with your large or small business has increased exponentially in just the past 10 years, and has a massive impact on your revenue potential no matter how big you are.
Many companies have settled back a bit to allow the "business reviews" to help with their image. They will highlight the good, and make apologetic comments on the bad. Some in-house branding teams will only show the positive feedback when reporting to their superiors so that their own operations are deemed worthy. How thorough is the online review strategy? What about the customers who won't or can't take the time to do an online review or fill out a 12 page survey?
The Secret Shopper or Mystery Shopper strategy is a "matter of fact" practice that will give you a straight forward, un-emotional view of how your Customer is being treated. The Shopper can not only gauge Customer Service, but also how well the business is being run on a day to day basis. We all know that when a corporate visit is expected, the staff as well as payroll has been over taxed to make sure the location is as it is supposed to be by company standards. Once the visit has passed, the belts and ties are loosened, and the atmosphere relaxes.
Is this how your business should be?
Having a Shopper drop in and interact with your staff will identify the good, the bad, and the Costly practices that are happening in that relaxed state. You can also request that certain criteria are looked at: Schematics, Customer Interaction (don't point, SHOW the customer where the product is...), and employee morale. You can look at Management performance as well: Are they present on the sales floor instead of hiding in their office? Are they interacting with Customers? Are they disciplining the staff in front of Customers? (Never a good idea.) The Shopper report can also be used as an unbiased tool for disciplinary and promotion opportunities, as well as an internal Loss Prevention scenario.
A word of warning on the services you use. Many of the companies out there will hire just about anyone on that applies, whether experienced or not. While the un-experienced may be able to make surface observations, they may not be able to get the detail you are looking for. Make sure that you use a service that will send experienced agents that can get the depth of detail you need to make sure that your business is running properly.
The Secret Shopper Service can be crafted to focus on just about any facet of your Customer related business that will give you actual insight on how your Customers and your Revenues are being treated.
If you would like to hear more about how we can help you hear the "Voice of the Customer" in your business, click the link below.