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!