Are you planning to hire a mystery shopping service provider? While searching for one of the best and most reliable company, you are more likely to come across a world of information about the concept. And, it is quite obvious that when something is being discussed, it comprises both the pros and cons of that particular thing or idea. Isn’t it?
What is the idea of mystery shopping?
Although the concept of mystery shopping is not new to the world of business, for some businesses it is still a new concept. So, are you considering mystery shopping as an effective business tool for the first time? Or are you new to the business domain? If so, then there are a number of misconceptions regarding mystery shopping that you need to say goodbye in the first place to begin with it.
One such myth is - mystery shopping is intended to penalize people. Actually, the sole intention of conducting a mystery shopping program is not to penalize anybody. Rather, you can define it as a double pronged tool or strategy intended to find the gaps in the performance of your store associates on one hand and reward them for good work on the other.
So, mystery shopping as a whole is to evaluate the behavior of your employees or access your business touch point during any normal situation. Therefore, a mystery shopper needs to be in disguise and behave in a way that any regular potential customer will do.
What do the mystery audit data say?
The data received from a mystery shopping audit can offer a number of advantages, like -
• It helps you understand precisely how and where to improve the operational efficiency of your business by allowing you to get a proper insight into the ground level reality of your store.
• It helps you develop effective sales strategies while ensuring compliance with the industry protocols and standards by communicating your company’s or brand’s vision to your employees through their cooperation to adhere to SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure).
• As far as penalizing is concerned, yes, sometimes it does the same, but not in a negative way. For example, let’s consider the setting of a restaurant or hotel. Accepting tips from the diners is considered to be a breach of integrity. So, if an employee is caught doing it, he or she is liable to get penalized. This kind of penalization helps you to control unethical practices.
• It helps you to maintain consistency of services all across your stores. With gap analysis as the main focus area of mystery shopping audits, it allows you see where and when to emphasize, be it a process(s) or people.
• It allows you to train, endow and encourage your employees in a better way to render customer experience at its best. Simply put, it paves the way to fathom the level of employee competence and device training programs, on-job or off-job, accordingly.
• It also helps you recognize the performers and reward them, thus increasing the visibility to employees. Also, mystery shopping’s benefits are not restricted to any particular department or segment. It benefits all the departments by providing quantifiable data, on the basis of which you can evaluate the internal performance of your departments.
• Last but not the least, mystery shopping helps you achieve better ROI (Return on Investment) by doing all the things mentioned above.
When well-planned mystery shopping programs can offer so many benefits (as mentioned above), you cannot call it as a penalizing approach in any case. Certain instances might be there where it has helped companies find out and punish people going beyond business ethics. However, punishing the people who are practicing unethical things or who have the propensity to bring bad name to your business is no bad, after all.