Are Your In-Store Employees Delivering Your Desired Brand Value?

Understanding the way that employees are performing on the frontlines can serve as a difference maker for brands hoping to create a leading Customer Experience platform. This group of service employees has a huge impact on consumers’ perception of your organization, and can either help create more brand ambassadors, or leave a toxic taste in the mouths of your customers. Brands in the retail space have an enhanced need to monitor the way their employees are interacting with customers because it can have a direct impact on a customer’s willingness to return and recommend your brand to their own personal network. Implementing Customer Experience measurement programs can provide valuable data to your organizational leadership that will help widen the gap between yourself and the competition.

Mystery shopping is one way that retail brands can acquire this information, because the data collected from these programs offers a relatively unbiased perspective of the way individual interactions are absorbed and digested by customers. Instructing these evaluators to monitor exactly how employees are providing service within your different brick-and-mortar locations grants leadership an accurate picture of which locations are measuring up to expectations, and those with lacking performances. Some important aspects to measure are exactly how long it took to complete a specified service request, how many associates are visible when the evaluator enters your store, the ability and accuracy of an employee’s response to consumer questions and their overall perception of the politeness of your associates.

Beyond mystery shopping programs, another great way to improve employee performance is to implement employee feedback programs. Understanding how employees perceive the workplace created by your organization can help you make tangible changes that lead to higher levels of engagement, ultimately helping establish employees as better equipped to provide a great experience to each individual customer that walks through your doors. Create a program based around eNPS®, which will measure the willingness of your employees to recommend your workplace to their friends and family. Organizations with high eNPS® scores typically will experience higher levels of customer satisfaction and retention.

Once you have collected an adequate amount of data regarding your employee performance, the next step to curating a great experience within each individual store in your brand umbrella is to be open and honest with this data. Transparency can serve as a key pillar to a highly-engaged workforce, and instead of billing these measurement programs as a tool to monitor deliquiates, instead present this data to your team as a tool to provide proper recognition to those employees that deserve it, and provide concrete constructive criticism to those individuals that need it. The ability to point to a specific example of a misstep provided via these mystery shopping programs can help deliver the message that will improve future performances. While this information can be utilized as a way to ensure that lacking individuals are punished, the best brands use the data as a way to craft an open and honest environment within their organization.

There are countless factors that contribute towards the perception that customers have of your brand, and the impact that in-store employees have is arguably the largest. If leadership is not already measuring these interactions and employees are not performing up to expectations, then your brand may have already lost a host of potential brand ambassadors. Implementing expertly-designed mystery shopping programs and employee feedback surveys can help curate a company culture that promotes high levels of customer and employee engagement within each individual interaction that takes place in your different brick-and-mortar locations.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.

We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.

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