Great business owners and managers are always looking for ways to improve customer service. With a quick google search, you will find all kinds of resources on the topic: consulting, software, hiring, and managerial techniques, among many others.
One simple yet often overlooked strategy for improving customer service is a well-crafted mystery shopping program. By sending in mystery shoppers (also known as secret shoppers) to interact with your company on a regularly scheduled basis, you can collect key data points on how your customers are being treated.
You may have an idea about what you want your customers to experience when engaging with your brand, and you may think that is what is happening on a daily basis, but until you put yourself in their shoes, there is no way of knowing. Here are some quick tips on how to put together a mystery shopping program to improve customer service:
Step 1: Find the right mystery shopping company to partner with.
Look for someone with experience in your industry and the ability to meet your program goals. Ask about their reporting, customization, quality assurance, and pricing options.
Step 2: Inform your team.
By telling everyone in advance about the program, you can get buy-in across the organization regarding the purpose of mystery shops. This will also foster a healthy, competitive atmosphere in that any customer could potentially be an evaluator.
Step 3: Build your report template.
Make sure that the shoppers are looking for all the key things that you train your team to execute. Your team should know how to “ace the test.”
Step 4: Analyze the results.
After a few months of shopping, you can start to see patterns in the data. You’ll notice which questions may be performing well, and which ones may be struggling. You’ll also be able to compare across locations as well as between busy/slow times for the business.
Step 5: Share the results and build an action plan.
Now that the program is humming along, you can now loop the whole team in and focus on the necessary areas of improvement. Over time, you can continue to update the program to reflect your new customer service goals and ensure that you are constantly moving the ball forward and staying ahead of your competition.
As you can see, without an ongoing stream of objective customer service data, you’re just guessing at what you think you should be doing to improve. Give us a call today and let’s build a plan to measure and manage your brand’s customer service.