Mystery shopping surveys are observational studies conducted to evaluate sales and customer service departments in the company. Our analysts go through the product or service interactions across yours and your competitors’ enterprise as trained “shoppers” and report back with detailed and unbiased account of their experience. Mystery shopping helps companies understand a general customer experience, what staff behavior should be promoted and will also help the company make the required changes in sales and customer service departments.
Step 1: Understanding Objective and Strategy Formulation
It is very important to understand why a mystery shopping survey is conducted and how the company strategies to use its output in business. Mystery shopping surveys are conducted for multiple reasons including:
- To ensure brand promises to customers are meet.
- To understand best practice in business by mystery shopping competitors and also to understand reasons for customer defection.
- To evaluate training effectiveness among sales and customer service team.
- Measuring channel pricing for own products in order to drive pricing discipline, or measuring pricing of competitors to create pricing strategies and schemes and offers.
- To check efficiency of customer service or customer support.
- To understand buying experience and to find customer pain points.
Step 2: Understanding Shopper and Sampling Shops
In order to define shoppers start with profiling target customer. A company may have different segments of target audience which will require different kind of shoppers in order to form a nationally representative group and if a particular segment has to be studied than that particular type of shopper will be appointed. After defining shopper, realistic shopper scenario is created and shoppers briefing materials are prepared to guide shopper’s behavior and to prepare them for a perfect role play.
It is also important to define the shops the shopper has to visit. Details such as which stores are to be visited (high grossing locations or low performance locations), how many times a shopper has to visit a store, how long should be the visit, at what time should the shopper visit, should the shopper make a purchase and others, should be understood before moving forward.
Step 3: Deciding Survey Questions
It is very important to gather the right information in order to evaluate the process correctly. Survey should be conducted by thinking of what is important to the customer. For instance, it is important for the company management that the store’s sales individuals are wearing nametags all the time but this is not very important to a customer, instead smooth enter-exit in a store, shorter billing queue and prompt service are some things which are more important to a customer.
The survey should be built in a structured and organized way. It should be a short survey with objective questions to avoid shopper’s confusion and bias. Finally scoring scheme of the survey is decided by assigning points to each question that are proportional and based on question importance.
Step 4: Creating Analytical Plan
It is very important to create analytical plan before conducting mystery shopping surveys. It defines how and where results can be accessed and tells which analytical approach will be used.