Why Mystery Shopping Programs Fail
Understanding what is going on in the thoughts and minds of your customer is imperative to creating the best possible customer experience for your brand.
Without this knowledge, it is easy to fall prey to assumptions about the effectiveness of daily operations, instead of relying on actionable insights. One supremely effective way of measuring and learning about your brand’s Customer Experience is employing a mystery shopping program. Mystery shoppers provide an unfiltered and unbiased approximation as to how customers interact with your brand, and as a result, they are a very common tool across many different industries. However, not every mystery shopping program is the same, and as a result, poorly designed campaigns wind up yielding no valuable information, making the cost of obtaining this information was too high. If your brand already uses a mystery shopping program, there are some quick steps to determine if it is actually working effectively.
If your brand already uses a mystery shopping program, there are some quick steps to determine if it is actually working effectively. Often times, companies that provide mystery shopping programs outsource a lot of the process, resulting in long wait times for your brand and continuous back and forth between vendor and client before settling down on a final product or report. If the company you employ to do mystery shopping is outsourcing a significant percentage of the workload to third-party companies, the program should be avoided so that your brand does not waste any time or money waiting on this third-party in the reporting process.
Additionally, if a mystery shopping company is not responding or reacting to your concerns in a timely manner, the wasted time spent working on creating the program adds up quickly. As a result, the program conclusions may be delayed or rushed, resulting in less accurate data and unhappy clients. In an effort to refute this reputation about mystery shopping specialists, Second To None has created a culture in which virtually all aspects of our mystery shopping programs are accomplished in-house. We employ our talented associates and directors across multiple genres and platforms to provide our clients with quick, informative, and clear analysis of all the data that we collect.
Another problem that often plagues mystery shopping programs is a lack of integrity in regards to the information that is collected. Mystery Shopping is inherently a science that is dependent on crowd-sourced information. In most mystery shopping programs, incentives are offered to shoppers for completing the shops on time and correctly. However, as is true among most areas of life, people will lie and cheat in order to receive the incentive without accurately completing the shop. In response to this issue, Second To None’s in house quality assurance team has built-in ways to ensure that our shoppers are upholding our brand standards. Not only do we strive to maintain efficiency and accuracy of the shoppers while building out the guidelines and questionnaires, but we also build and monitor every response we receive in our in-house created and managed ShopperHub.
Employing a mystery shopping program can help you understand how your customers perceive your brand, as well as encourage connectivity between both parties. This step of letting your customer know that you are making efforts to improve their experience can go a long way in improving the daily grind of customer service, and provide information to guide direction given to employees on the frontline. However, understanding how your mystery shopping program is being run, and what the most important aspects of a successful mystery shopping program are is imperative information when deciding whether to switch your mystery shopping provider. Follow the tips above to determine whether your brand is making the right moves to create the best possible Customer Experience.
The true path to customer joy begins with immersion. At Second To None, we don’t simply ask your customers about their perceptions, observations, interactions, and experiences.
We truly become your customers.
Snapshot is our mystery shopping program, which has been core to our company since our founding in 1989. Whether in-store, online, on app, or beyond, we uncover key drivers of the customer experience that are responsible for improving customer satisfaction. You’ll understand what customers are experiencing each and every day. Learn more about Snapshot.