Let’s say you’ve just run a successful mystery shopping program for a few months. You’ve got a lot of data, improvement points, suggestions and recommendations given to you by the mystery shopping company. All those mystery shopping solutions have provided you with a tonne of information. Great. Now what?
Mystery shopping solutions are always part of a program aimed to help you improve your frontline performance. This means that whatever data has come out of it needs to be put to work addressing those areas that have come out of the program looking less than stellar. For example, let’s say that part of your mystery shopping program involved testing whether or not your staff was carding would-be-alcohol purchasers to ensure they were of legal age after a new training program. In the first fieldwork period – also sometimes called a ‘wave’ – the mystery shopping program revealed that 70% of all staff members were using their new training successfully and were asking customers for proof of age before selling them any drinks. 70% isn’t bad, but it probably didn’t meet your KPI. The mystery shopping solution wouldn’t just provide you with a percentage, however, but help you identify where the shortfalls are and thus help you identify potential solutions. Once you’ve got those in hand, you can compare the percentages – or scores – with future waves and watch the progress trend with that particular element. That’s the power of mystery shopping, it provides you with a clear overview of ongoing development in your business, not just a snapshot of the here and now – I suppose it’s fairer to call it an album of snapshots that paint a progress picture, but still, no one can really timelapse a business properly.
Mystery shopping solutions provide points of improvement, areas that need your attention – which means that many businesses put them on pause or hold while they address these areas and then come back to the program later. There’s no real reason for that, save perhaps to spare some money while you’re implementing improvements. Ideally, you’d be running a mystery shopping program in one form or another constantly in the background, like a diagnosis program to feed you a steady stream of analytics and insights that you can use to continuously improve your business. Easier said than done, perhaps, but if you’re willing to try it, we’re certainly game.
But I got ahead of myself. The point is that after a program has run its course, it’s important to collate the data into a form you can put to use. Many companies have a tendency to put the data aside, analyzed or not, and simply check it off the list as a ‘done that’ and move on to the next project. You’ve paid a good sum for that data, and any mystery shopping provider would be happy to help you put it to use if you’re not entirely sure where to start. The key is, of course, to know your program, and to have set it up in such a way from the beginning that gives you access to data you want and need. Mystery shopping companies will help you clearly identify these needs if you’re not entirely sure how to explain them properly, it’s part of what we do – help you get the data you can use. Work together with your provider to really get the cutting edge kind of insights that you can put to good use.