How to design a successful mystery shopping program?

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Customer experience has always mattered for your business. Countless studies show that brands achieve higher customer loyalty and profits when they put the customer first and deliver a better experience compared to competitors. With heightened customer expectations and a complex multichannel retailing environment, delivering an exceptional customer experience has never been as challenging as it is today. But, mystery shopping exists to resolve these issues and concerns for your brand. 

What is mystery shopping? 

Mystery shopping is a research method that ensures brands deliver consistent services as per the promises made to customers. The process uses trained shoppers to interact with services or products across locations and give a detailed account of their experiences. Thus, secret shopping gives an idea of what an average customer experiences inside the store. The program also unlocks staff behavior, sale process, and customer journey. When executed effectively, a secret shopping program can be a powerful tool for management and be aware of what is happening inside the stores. The tool brings insights that help to serve the customer better. 

4 steps to design an effective mystery shopping program 

A mystery shopping program can go wrong for many reasons. Asking the wrong questions and not having a clear strategy bring failure in this program. So, here are the 4 steps to design an effective mystery shopping program for your business: 

1. Define your goal clearly 

The objective of any secret shopping program is to gain an unbiased evaluation of your business from the customers’ perspective to measure customer experience. But, you need to define your goal and how will use the data in improving your business. As a result, you can collect specific data and organize your reporting properly. 

2. Identify key metrics 

Once you have defined the goal of your program, you can determine the key metrics to measure in the process. It could be your sale process, employees’ behavior, and how are customers greeted that impact the customer experience inside the store. 

Moreover, you need to hire trained and professional mystery shoppers who can work undercover. The metrics should be simple and focused to minimize the chance of human errors, which helps them to collect objective data in the process. 

3. Optimized reporting 

Optimized reporting helps you to analyze data and is crucial for your long-term success. Look for a flexible reporting platform where you can visualize changes done over time. Moreover, a platform that supports permissions settings helps you to control who can access the data. It is important to protect sensitive information from all locations. Plus you should have a plan to use the results to your advantage. It may be in improving customer experience or daily operations across the stores. 

4. Define your baseline 

Define a baseline to assess the data that is coming from different locations. Defining the baseline based on your brand standards will help you to identify and address issues while measuring improvement over time. 

Conclusion 

Regardless of the industry, an optimized secret shopping program helps you gain insightful data that impact your business. By analyzing the customer journey and defining strategies concerning your customer, you can design an effective and successful program. Always rely on a professional mystery shopping provider to design a program that brings impactful results.

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