Archive for Ann Michaels & Associates

Your Business Isn’t One Dimensional – Mystery Shopping Shouldn’t Be Either

 

multichannel-customer

 

Think about your current mystery shopping program; like many, it’s likely that it consists of onsite visits (for those with brick and mortar locations) and possible online or maybe some phone call evaluations. Most focus on in store evaluations, since that is the “meat and potatoes”, in person customer experience.

While this used to be standard, things are changing, much like your own business. Customers are doing business with you online, on the phone, and even on social media – aren’t those channels of interaction just as important?

If you’re not sure what’s out there in the way of mystery shopping programs, good news – we can give you a quick overview here so you can see what’s out there.

 

Phone shops: these are probably the most popular type of evaluation right behind onsite evaluations. Shoppers can evaluate the problem resolution process, get assistance with products and/or purchases, or other typical customer scenarios.

Step it up a notch by adding a recorded call component. Instead of a narrative, the shopper can record the conversation and upload the audio clip directly to the report. This has become quite popular and is a nice addition to a mystery shopping evaluation.

 

Quality Call Monitoring: this is a newer form of mystery shopping that many companies, especially in the B2B industry, have had great success with. One of the concerns with phone evaluations is the time spent with a mystery shopper may impede time with a “real” customer, while another may be that it is difficult to fully mimic actual scenarios, making the mystery shopping data not truly reflective of the actual experience.

QCM programs are the best of both worlds – a program that mirrors a traditional mystery shop can be developed in which recorded inbound and/or outbound calls are listened to by a third party and evaluated in the same manner as a traditional shop.

 

Online shops: problems with the purchasing journey, or the return process, can easily fall through the cracks in ecommerce. Mystery shopping can help pinpoint gaps in service and areas that need improvement.

Shoppers can be instructed to make a purchase online and evaluate all aspects of the experience – web usability, purchase process, problem resolution (phone, chat, or email, or a combination of these), tracking the delivery, and evaluating the return process.

 

Social media shops: social media is more than social – it’s the new form of customer service for many businesses, as customers have made it this way. Make sure your social service is as strong as your onsite service. Use mystery shops to evaluate response time, knowledge, and other key aspects on one or more social channels.

 

Mystery shopping is a key component in evaluating the customer experience. Traditional onsite evaluations are important, and should remain the focus, but taking a look at supplementing your program to capture data from all customer channels will give you the most information possible. Mix it up a bit and incorporate some new measurement tools to your program in 2017 – you’ll be happy you did!

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Happy New Year!

hny-final-2017

 

From all of us at Ann Michaels & Associates, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! We are grateful for your readership and look forward to connecting with you even more in the new year!

It’s always a good time to look back on the year, and we wanted to share links to our five most popular blog posts:

When Mystery Shopping and Feedback Surveys are BFF’s

Automated Phone Systems: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Employee Feedback Gone Wrong

Tips for Learning About Your Competitors

What Makes Consumers Want to Sabotage Your Brand?

Do you have a topic you’d like to see covered, or a question you’d like to ask? Do you want to learn more about our services, including mystery shopping, customer feedback, social media monitoring, and quality control monitoring? Feel free to send us an email (just click here) and we’ll be happy to help!

Thank you again for being a part of our blog – we look forward to sharing more with you in 2017!

Why Amazon Continues to be Awesome (Hint: Don’t Throw Out Your Boxes)

 

amazon-goodwill

 

Just when you think Amazon could not outdo itself, it does just that.

This year the company is partnering with Goodwill to make use of their many empty boxes and helping a great cause. According to a recent article from Business Insider, it’s very simple:

  • Collect your used, empty Amazon boxes. (You can also use boxes from other selected retailers.) Make sure your order isn’t still in there.
  • Pack it with the stuff you want to donate to Goodwill. Here’s a suggested list of items Goodwill accepts.
  • Print a shipping label from givebackbox.com.
  • Drop the box off at UPS or the post office. Shipping will be free, and the box will go to the nearest participating Goodwill.

I think this is a wonderful way to encourage donations! With Amazon being the best performer of the season, it’s likely that boxes are stacked high in homes around the world – this is an outstanding way to recycle the boxes while serving a great cause.

Amazon continues to lead the pack in sales for the holiday season, but this newest partnership makes them even more awesome.

As a fun side note, Amazon has shared a variety of interesting statistics in a press release related to the holiday shopping season; here are some of the highlights:

 

  • More than one billion items shipped worldwide with Prime and Fulfillment by Amazon this holiday season.
  • More than 72 percent of Amazon customers worldwide shopped using a mobile device this holiday.
  • There are now 45,000 robotics units working alongside Amazon associates in more than 20 fulfillment centers.
  • The last Prime Now order delivered in time for the holiday was delivered at 11:59 p.m. on December 24, 2016 to a Prime member in Irvine, California. The order included a Heated Mattress Pad, NyQuil and Afrin Nasal Spray.(Sounds like someone wasn’t feeling well!)
  • The last Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery order from Amazon.com that was delivered in time for Christmas was ordered at 10:23 a.m. on December 24, 2016. The order included Venum Contender Boxing Gloves, and was delivered to a Prime member in Richmond, Virginia at 2:42 p.m. – the same day
  • Amazon.com customers purchased enough 4K TVs to reach the peak of Mount Everest more than 9 times.
  • Amazon.com customers purchased enough KitchenAid Mixers this holiday to make nearly 7.5 million cookies at once.
  • Amazon.com customers purchased enough luggage to fill 20 Boeing 747 airplanes.