Mystery shopping programs are great – they’ve been around forever and have been successful in helping businesses measure and maintain an exceptional customer experience.
Technology has been good to the industry, for both mystery shopping providers and their clients. What was once a process that took significant time is now much more efficient thanks to technology. And recently, things got even better.
Mystery shopping spot checks are the newest tool in the mystery shopping industry. Unlike a traditional mystery shop that focuses on the entire customer journey from start to finish, these spot checks are shorter evaluations that target specific snapshots of the customer experience.
Why are these different?
- They focus on one or two specific aspects of the customer experience. This gives companies a clear analysis of core standards across all locations.
- The information is submitted in real time. Unlike traditional mystery shops, the reports are submitted on site, right after the customer’s experience. Think of it as the love child of mystery shopping and customer feedback – objective information coupled with standard observations of KPI’s delivered in real time.
- It complements traditional mystery shopping. While not a replacement for traditional mystery shopping, it is a great complement to a traditional program.
- It’s cost efficient. Mystery shopping spot checks are conducted on mobile devices and are more focused. Because of this, they are less expensive than a traditional shop.
Uses for mystery shopping spot checks
There are many ways the mystery shopping spot checks can be used independently or as a complement to your regular program:
- Follow up shops: when shops are conducted on a monthly basis, companies will set a performance threshold. When this is not met, a spot check can be dispatched to evaluate the location within 2 weeks of the original shop, only focusing on the key aspects that were missed the first time. This will help determine if it was a one time issue or if a location has ongoing issues that need to be addressed.
- Promotions & events: if your company is rolling out a huge promotion, you want to make sure the locations are in compliance with marketing strategies before it begins. A spot check can send mystery shoppers to your locations to make sure the appropriate signage and messaging is in each store, complete with pictures uploaded in the report.
- Product quality: especially when rolling out a new menu items, spot checks are a great way to make sure product quality and presentation are consistent. Picture uploads will let you see first hand how products are made and presented to customers.
- Reward your employees: randomly conduct a spot check at all of your locations, focusing on three of the most important service standards. Reward the employees/locations with the highest scores. The surprise will be a welcome one, and can be used to motivate staff to treat every customer as though they were the mystery shopper.
Maintaining strong customer experiences takes work and continual monitoring and measurement. Why not utilize all of the available tools? There are many potential uses for mystery shopping spot checks. Hopefully the ideas above will get your company thinking about different ways you can incorporate this new methodology.