MIB stories – Shoppers Anonymous Bucks

Graham Hill at Shoppers Anonymous Bucks outlines his top tips on the benefits of using mystery shopping and why companies with excellent customer service still want to participate in mystery shopping programmes



One of the ironic facts in the mystery shopping world is that companies with good customer service see the benefit in developing a mystery shopping programme and those with average or poor customer service do not consider such a programme to be a worthwhile investment.

In fact, it is very rare that we are approached by a business with poor customer service. Is it complacency or a lack of awareness of the real importance of excellent customer service?

We often talk about the 80% – 8% Rule: where 80% of businesses think they deliver great service but when you ask their customers only 8% feel the same.

Whether it’s mystery shopping, exit surveys, audits or focus groups, used correctly, these tools can be the most important investment made; after all, customer satisfaction is the core of businesses, isn’t it?

Here’s our top five reasons why using mystery shopping can increase profits, margins and help create a more positive work environment:

1. To clarify your brand objectives or your USP. If you’re not clear, how can your staff be clear? When you know what your objectives are you can align them to a mystery-shopping programme that will enhance your overall goals and target specific objectives.
2. To increase the average transaction value – make conversions a priority. We have numerous case studies where bottom line profits have gone through the roof by having a well targeted programme in place
3. To increase your customer loyalty. Customers will return to what they know. If they know they will get excellent customer service, you have guaranteed their loyalty for years to come.
4. To motivate staff. Use the report as an effective tool to create excitement and ambition amongst staff; each month increase your achievement targets. Set specific goals for individuals or teams.
5. To advertise your success. Let your customers know you value them and, to that end, are involved in a monthly mystery-shopping programme. Use your provider’s brand on your literature, have placards in store proudly stating you scored 100% or have individual employee awards. Your customers will be interested to know that you care about your level of customer service and are prepared to invest in this.

When your programme is in place, continually measure and share your successes. Any reputable provider will include month on month comparisons and a statistical analysis of departments or areas. Highlight the progress with your team and share in their improvement as they take greater pride in the way they relate to customers.

Mystery shopping should be used as a positive tool. Involve your team and let them know they are not being mystery shopped for negative reasons. Clearly define your objectives and encourage them to be competent with themselves and their own work ethic.

Businesses with the best customer service, invest in not only keeping it that way, but making it even better.