Secret shopping – The ultimate way to improve customer service experience
Customer satisfaction is one of the primary goals of every business. Customers, who are satisfied with service and products, are most likely to become loyal customers and spread good words about the brand on social media and refer the brand to peers. Good customer service experience impacts the sale, customer retention, and reputation of brands. Maintaining higher customer satisfaction is what every business wants to outrank competitors.
How can a business determine the customer service experience across its store? While there are several ways business operators can evaluate customer service experience, covert shopping is a widely used research tool for businesses operating in different niches.
What is secret shopping?
Before delving into the benefits of adopting a covert shopping program by brands, let us understand what is secret shopping all about. Secret shopping, also called mystery shopping, is a technique utilized by businesses to evaluate the quality of customer service experience by sending anonymous shoppers to interact with employees and observe things based on predefined parameters. Covert shoppers gather unbiased feedback on the customer experience and assess how well the employees are following company policies and procedures. Secret shoppers can even identify areas for improvement on different customer touchpoints and training needs of employees based on their observations inside the store. Overall, secret shopping brings competitive intelligence to evaluate customer service experience and improve existing performance by using ideas in business operations.
Why should a business adopt secret shopping program?
There are positive impacts of adopting a secret shopping program by businesses. The technique helps to collect subjective feedback, performance metrics, and voice of customer analytics based on the design of the mystery shopping program, which may help in ongoing improvements. Mystery shoppers can help a business in the following ways:
Identify areas for improvement – Secret shoppers give detailed feedback on areas of the business that require improvement, such as customer service quality, store cleanliness, product layout, and more based on the set standards. The audit can help to pinpoint specific areas to focus on to enhance the overall customer experience inside the store.
Assess employee performance – Covert shoppers interact and assess employee performance based on the standards set by the company. By evaluating the feedback, businesses can identify areas where employees need special training and support to serve customers effectively.
Identify business opportunities – The covert shoppers evaluate the competition. By benchmarking against competitors, businesses can find areas where they can differentiate and present themselves better in the market. With this report, business operators can identify new opportunities for growth and stay ahead of the competition.
Evaluate marketing efforts – Another benefit of secret shopping is evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Mystery shoppers assess how promotional materials impact their purchasing decision. Businesses can assess whether their message is resonating with customers or not, and make adjustments to be more effective.
Secret shopping is a proven way of gathering valuable information on customer perception, behavior, and preferences toward the business. The data helps understand the target audience, use that information in future business decisions, and deliver consistent customer service across stores.