Improving The Result of A Mystery Shopping Visit.

Progressive Improvement of Customer Service

In our previous post, we had mentioned that you can used Mystery Shopping as a means of improving on the service given. In fact, Mystery Shopping has always been a progressive approach toward improvement. Especially when it comes to providing serving to the customer.

How It Works.

Companies hire these Mystery Shoppers who are then given a task to evaluate the store/brand in a given manner. Let’s take an easy example, a retail store. We all know the service we receive when trying to buy something at a retail store. Do you remember the last time you had really good experience? Where the service provided was superb?

Each company has a set of guidelines. They train their staff based on these guidelines to be able to provide quality service to their customers. Mystery Shoppers are then send in to check if these – often basic – guidelines are met. The Shopper then fills in a report with both objective questions and subjective comments about the visit experience. The result would be the grade and given to the store/brand/service staff based on the Shopper’s experience.

Before we continue, we must make one thing very clear. Mystery Shopping is not meant for assigning blame or spying on the staff. Rather, it’s about progressive improvement. Which is really the goal of any business.

Mystery-Shopping

How to Improve

The results have been received and the store gets a grade. Whether it’s a passing or failing grade would depend on the scoring system laid out by the company. The Manager or Person in Charge will receive the scores of the evaluation. The Manager or Person in Charge would then be able to see at which section points were lost. This is the important part.

Knowing at which part the staff had lost points will allow for the improvement to take place. Each staff gets training. The problem is often times to much information is given at one time. That’s like receiving a whole bag of jelly beans and asking you to taste every flavour available. Also, most people assimilate training through experience.

For constant progressive improvement, you can use the strategy of attacking each section individually. Rather than asking the staff to be sure to score higher next time. The staff can learn in a more structural manner.

An Example

An example of this would be, if the staff had low scores in terms of identifying the needs of the customer. Aim to improve on that section first. Progressively move towards other low scoring sections over time. Yes, it takes a longer period of time. Although, this would allow the staff to assimilate and integrate the training in a way that is being used on a daily basis.

Don’t forget about the Big Picture.

Small steps are good and allows a person to keep motivated while slowly progressing to a higher quality of service. However, we really should not forget about the bigger picture. An overall improvement on the service.

Progressive improvement will allow the stores to keep track of this. If the store or staff had scored high on one section in month A, but scored low on the same section in the following month – while focusing on another section of service. It would than defeat the purpose of the exercise. The point is to assimilate, integrate, improve and progress towards the highest level of service that everyone can aspire to.

What do you think? Would progressive improvement towards a larger goal work?

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