We talk about retail mystery shopping benefits a lot at AQ Services International. The retail industry is one of the biggest in the world, after all, so it’s not really surprising that we are constantly asked what sort of benefits mystery shopping offers the retail sector. There are many elements that can benefit from mystery shopping, not just in the retail industry but in all of them. However, let’s take another look at some of those key aspects that retail mystery shopping programs can help retail companies develop and improve on.
1. Customer Retention Improvement.
Ever wonder if your customers are enjoying the latest products or services? Do they know where to find them? Is your staff providing the service they expect and want? A mystery shopping program helps identify those areas that lead to customer churn, providing insight into elements that your customers are enjoying and those they don’t look forward to when they come into your store.
2. Monitor Store and Facility Situations
Nothing turns a customer off a service or product more than a dirty, cluttered, messy, or unkempt store. A mystery shopping program helps keep you informed about the status of all your outlets. It can also help monitor whether the correct and up to date promotional posters and materials are in the correct place.
3. Provide Feedback and Quality Control on Service and/or Product Delivery
Checking in on the quality fo service and products is vital to the survival of any business, especially in the highly competitive retail industry! By sending in a mystery shopper, it’s easy to keep track of whether there is a constant and good level of quality for both services provided and products on offer.
4. Provide Insight into Staff Performance
Are your staff living up to your expectations? Did that last customer service training seminar have the desired impact? Use a mystery shopping program to find out and test the product knowledge and service quality of the frontline.
5. Raise Employee Awareness and Engagement
By making employees aware of a mystery shopping program – without taking the mystery out of it entirely of course! – you can raise their awareness of the values, products, and services you and the company hold in highest regard. This should trigger an increase in their desire to do better, to help customers to the best of their ability, and hopefully become more engaged with your brand and your customers in general!
6. Provide Support for Promotional Campaigns and Materials
Similarly to what our second item hinted at, you can use a mystery shopping program to check whether the correct phrases are being used during a specific promotional phase for a product or service. Have a new flagship product on the floor? Want to check whether your team is correctly promoting it when they’re talking to the customers? This is a good way to check it out and see if anything needs to be adjusted or tweaked!
7. Allow for Competitve Benchmarking and Analysis
We all wonder, once in a while, why some people prefer a different brand to the one we’ve put our hearts and souls into – obviously ‘we’ are always better than ‘them’. Are we though? It’s important to check out what the competition is doing, see if there are aspects of their customer service where they are outdoing you. Analyzing your failings and successes in context with your closest competitors can really benefit your business model and highlight areas you might need to spend a little extra time and money on!
And there you have it, 7 key retail mystery shopping benefits. There are always overlaps with other industries, of course, mystery shopping is all about improving frontline performance after all.
And for the record, we provide all of the above listed services in our mystery shopping programs! Want to know a little more?