Finishing time：2016/3/4 12:08:37 Announcer：TRISEARCHER
Guiding Role of Mystery Shopping
A couple of years ago, a client participated a seminar called “how mystery shopping plays a role in strengthening company inner development and boosting service efficiency”. With the deepening of understanding as he collected information regarding mystery shopping, he decided to hire some shoppers to help him solve problems occurred in his retail business. The seminar stressed that manager should inform their front-line staffs about mystery shoppers, and tell them these shoppers may appear anytime and instruct employees of how to respond to different scenario. Finally, staffs should be noticed about the problems discovered and conclusion of the research. But to the contrary, they in turn lost customers. The client was surprised and confused. He didn’t understand why his employees should be informed in advance about the mystery shopping, and once the staffs know about it, whether the test result being distorted or not.
One thing many people didn’t realize is that mystery shopping is not limited to collect data from various sources. Only with appropriate and reasonable analysis will these data be of practical significance. If mystery shopping organization can’t properly use the collected data to reach any conclusion, then the data itself would have no value.
Through many studies on mystery shopping research process and various modes it has adopted, local experts discovered that all mystery shopping research, no matter out of what reason of purchase and what service mode they apply, all companies have to experience the same several stages. Although there’re no scientific theories to support the research, these stages are highly predictable and with high accuracy. The deviation will certainly exist in various stages. And the existence of deviation is due to that not all tested organizations have experienced mystery shopping.
It’s worth noting that senior management level of the company has to participate in the mystery shopping research. Otherwise it will have no value. All in all, the mystery shopping is aimed to discover deficiencies and flaws and improve services.
The following are stages that usually appear in mystery shopping:
1. Conflict Stage:
This stage always takes place to companies which choose mystery shopping research for the first time. In these cases, many managers will find themselves hard to believe the research conclusion. They might complain the date is not good for shopping or find far-fetched excuses for the unpleasant happened in the process of mystery shopping. The managers would rather complain all external factors, than to peacefully accept the result. They can’t believe their well-trained staffs perform so poorly in the research. And there’re some other reasons to cause criticism:
· When mystery shopping companies made some non-technical mistakes；
· When managers have doubt over the objectives of such research
· When Mystery shopper agency provided no complete and detailed analysis of the research result.
· When some staff behaved too emotionally during the service process.
Normally it takes time to make clients truly accept the unpleasant result that reveals the deficiencies in their customer service. It means only through more than once cooperation can clients agree with the result. During conflict stage, management level always blames poor result on bad date or a certain irresponsible employee. However, as time passes, they will realize the importance of mystery shopping when they make an astonishing improvement in sales revenue.
The following reasons will accelerate management level to agree with the research result:
· When mid-and high-level managers realize the importance of mystery shopping, and treat it as a promoter to enterprise development, rather than a test to punish possible poor-performance employees.
·When mid-and high-level managers of a company begin to attach great importance to the research result.
·When front-line employees and their managers exchange ideas to better cope with mystery shopping with higher level of service.
·Last but not the least, mystery shopping provider needs to guarantee the quality of the research result.
At this stage, company management level will get more benefits, which is also the realization stage of the research original objectives. With the help of mystery shopping research, managers will largely improve the operation mode and receive acclaim from customers. The following are various benefits management level will receive:
· Improvement of customer satisfaction
· Enhancement of consumer loyalty
· Closer ties with customers
· Increase of sales revenue
· Improvement of staff satisfaction and loyalty
· Better reputation
4. Culture Instilment：
When companies begin to enjoy benefits brought about by mystery shopping research, they start to reach the phase of their own culture instilment. As company reputation improves and image is built, they begin to instill their enterprise cluster into society. It’s fair to say that it’s highly effective to make mystery shopping research one of the most important tools for management, and use it along with other company strategies. Therefore, mystery shopping is an efficient and effective measure to monitor and improve company service and product quality.