What Are The Unseen Things That Are Driving Your Customers Away – Mystery Shopping

Do you know what the little “unseen” things are that may be driving customers out of your store? Sometimes we don’t see the little things,especially when you look at them every day, they become unseen to us. A mystery shopper can help you see them all over again.

Unseen Things

So what are some of those unseen things? Well, to start out with, the condition of your store. Customers notice things like stains on What Are The Unseen Things That Are Driving Your Customers Away - Mystery Shoppingthe floor or carpeting. They notice paint that may be faded in places, or dings in the walls. Make sure to paint and remove stains and dings!Customers notice funny smells. You may be used to them, but they aren’t and smells alone are enough to have customers walking right back out the door. It may be as simple as a good heavy cleaning that can be done. Maybe it’s new carpeting or paint. Just remember that you are so used to seeing all the defects that you don’t see them anymore. Your mystery shopper will.

Next, do you have a bathroom that customers can use? If so, how clean is it? Is it stocked and kept spotless or is it a dingy closet that would scare people to use? Keep it clean, well lit and well stocked! Or don’t let customers use it. Having a nice clean bathroom for you customers can be a plus!

Condition of Products

How is the condition of the things you sell? How well stocked are your shelves? Are they regularly checked and restocked, or are there obvious holes? If it appears you have nothing to sell, there is nothing to make customers come in and stay to shop. Shelves should be dust free too! Making your store inviting also means letting customers know you have plenty for them to see and purchase.

Mystery Shopping and Your Salespeople

Last, salespeople. Are they rude or helpful? Rude sales people will kill a business faster than any other issue. A mystery shopper is trained to look for all these things, as well as be a challenge to see if your salespeople can handle even the crankiest customers with confidence and skill.

Use mystery shopping as a tool to keep your store and employees in good shape for sales.

Taking The Mystery Out of Mystery Shopping for National Chains

No matter the size of the business, mystery shopping programs work to help improve the business. National chain stores are no different than small businesses. In fact, mystery shopper programs are a great idea for national chains stores.

Taking The Mystery Out of Mystery Shopping for National ChainsAll store owners and managers, big and small, need to know what is going on in their store when they are gone. Mystery shopping programs provide eyes and ears for you. They check out all the areas you worry about: store policies, training, staff attitude.

They will rate the level of customer service provided. How do they treat your customers? Are they friendly and customer-focused? How long does it take them to greet people when they come in? Are they providing above average service and being polite and friendly, or are they acting bored and annoyed? A good mystery shopper can tell you how your customers feel when they are in your store.

What about product knowledge; how well do your employees know about the products and services they are selling? The wireless industry can be incredibly confusing, between all the types of phones, and plans, if your employees can’t explain it, how can they possibly be selling the right plans and phones to your customers? Confused customers become angry ones if they feel they were sold a bill of goods.

Your store policies range from greeting customers and making sales to how clean your store is and up to date your displays are. Not to mention that your staff should be dressed appropriately in uniform or at least looking professional. National chain stores are no different. In fact most national chain stores have a uniformity that is required. Is your chain complying?

National chains may have better pricing, but unhappy customers can ruin even the best chains. Keeping them happy, informed and shopping is the bottom line. Mystery shoppers will make sure that staff in every store are doing what they should.

Mystery Shopping Myths – Why Go With A Reputable Company

Mystery shopping services can be a great way to see what goes on in your retail store when you aren’t around. But beware, because the industry is also fraught with scams. So be sure when you are looking for a mystery shopper provider, to use a reputable company.

Mystery Shopping Myths - Why Go With A Reputable CompanyThe mystery shopping industry has been plagued with scams. It has given it a black eye. Many legitimate businesses shy away from using these services because there are so many scams out there. But there is a way to tell a legitimate company from a scam. First, start with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website at www.mysteryshop.org for member companies. The companies affiliated with MSPA are legitimate businesses and a good place to start. But, don’t stop there.

When you have settled on a company or a few, check them out further. Start with the Better Business Bureau. Then go to your state corporate database or attorney general’s office. See if there have been complaints lodged with either and that their corporate charter is in good standing. Check out other places like Yelp for recommendations. Google the company and see what comes up about them.

Another tip is to start with a market research company. Many of them provide this service for clients. Steer clear of companies that charge shoppers a fee to work for them. This is the first red flag that they are a scam. Also keep an eye out for things like companies with no website or can’t be Googled. If the company doesn’t have a corporate email and uses a free service like gmail, yahoo, Hotmail, etc. for their company email addresses. Most legitimate companies can afford the roughly $100 per year that it costs to acquire and maintain a domain and related company email account. If they have a website, look for exaggerated hype about what they can do for their shoppers and for their retail clients.

Mystery shoppers are a great way to evaluate your business, but be cautious about where you find them! Scams abound so don’t get burned.

Mystery Shopping Benefits – What Attracts Your Customers

Mystery shopping has a lot of different uses. One you may not thought of is using it to find out what works in your store and what doesn’t to attract customers. Having an unbiased eye on your displays and in store marketing, as well as having them review ads and marketing efforts before visiting the store, can be invaluable for refining your efforts to attract new customers.

Mystery Shopping Benefits - What Attracts Your CustomersMost people think that mystery shoppers are just to test your employees. They are, but they are also another good source to tell you what works in your store where displays and marketing come into play. After all, they are sent into your store to shop, and like any other customer they are influenced by what they see, hear and what they read. Why not make use of that experience as well?

Studies on retail sales and what influences them have proven that displays make a big difference with customers. Even more than big price cuts. Good displays showcase products in the best light. Those who might come in hesitant about a product will see it in its best light and that good display will push them towards purchase. A mystery shopper can let you know if the main product displays are working. Did they find that they didn’t feel the need to comparison shop?

Good displays also lend to impulse buys. A mystery shopper can judge if the other displays, displays set up close to the registers to encourage impulse buys are working as well. If the mystery shopper can be enticed to purchase that extra, then that is a good display that lends to upselling.

Ask for mystery shoppers of different ages and income demographics. Since customers of different age or income demographics shop differently, test out how you stack up to the differences. Your store may be targeting a specific one, or trying to appeal to many of them. Not matter the case, get a mystery shopper to test out the ones you target the most. Make sure that you are addressing what attracts customers to your retail business and use a mystery shopper to test it out.

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Mystery Shopping Benefits – Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?

Do you know what mystery shopping benefits are? Do you have a professional sales staff? Every business owner would like to think that they have a professional, courteous, knowledgeable staff. But do you know for sure? So how can you know for sure? Use the benefits of a mystery shopper to test your staff.

Mystery Shopping Benefits - Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?There are plenty of technology stores. You know that if your customers aren’t happy they will go elsewhere and there are plenty of places for them to go. That means that your staff’s customer service skills, professionalism and knowledge must be top notch. You take the time and expense to train them, but are they using it? A mystery shopper can help you find out.

A mystery shopper is a person you hire to go into your store and shop. Your staff has no way of knowing if any customer could be a mystery shopper, and ideally don’t have an idea that the store manager/owner is even using one. The mystery shopper is trained to look for specific things. They find out for you, the owner or manager, if your staff is knowledgeable. Are they following your rules or loafing around? Did they greet customers and make eye contact? Customers are put off by rude or inattentive staff. Did they offer solutions to questions or just rush to push the most expensive or newest technology without listening to the customer? In other words, are they following your sales training?

Some mystery shoppers will be difficult on purpose just to test the patience of your staff and see how they handle it. Were they rude, or not handle a difficult customer correctly? Did they try and up-sell the customer with items that could be helpful to them, like a Bluetooth headset or cover for their phone? It’s an ideal method to find out what kind of training each employee may need, be it in technology or in dealing with customers.

If you really want to know how well your staff measures up, try a mystery shopper.

Why Use Mystery Shopping? Is Your Store Layout Helping The Customer Experience?

Would you know if your store layout is effective? Does it help or hinder your customer’s experience? One way to find out is to use mystery shopping.

Why Use Mystery Shopping? Is Your Store Layout Helping The Customer Experience?Is your store layout helping the customer experience? There are many things that do. One is how well your employees interact with customers, but that’s only part of the equation. Your store layout is really important as well. Is your store layout designed to encourage people to purchase more? Do you have eye-catching displays in the front to make them slow down? Does it lead them to where your best products are? Have you created breaks in the aisles to get people’s attention?

Mystery shopping can advise how these elements help the customer experience. If a typical customer walks into your store, is your store layout set up to encourage people to go right to what they need, or does it lead them through the store past items that will complement what they need, boosting your sales? One way to do that is to make displays that will slow them down in their trek through the store. Another is to create breaks in the aisles that slow them down. Did you know that 20 percent of a store’s merchandise is skipped over because people are moving too fast down long aisles?

All of these are items that are incredibly important to bolstering your bottom line. If a customer comes in, goes right to what they want without stopping to get other items and then leaves that is not the customer experience that you would like. A customer that comes in, is lead to accessory items, slowed down in the aisles and then gets what they need along with other items is the customer experience you want them to have. The problem is you are so familiar with your store layout that you may not see any issues. Mystery shopping will give you feedback that allows you to see where improvements can be made. Definitely worth the time and expense!

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Why Use Mystery Shopping? Rate Your Employees Knowledge Points

Mystery shopping is a solid way to find out so many things about your business. One of those things is your employee’s knowledge points: their level of training, sales knowledge, knowledge of products and services. Not knowing if they know what they should puts you at a disadvantage.

Why Use Mystery Shopping? Rate Your Employees Knowledge PointsIn today’s competitive retail world all it takes is one unknowledgeable employee to ruin your business. You have enough competitors that are all too willing to pick up that employee’s slack. So how can you be sure that the training you are supplying is making a difference? Using mystery shopping is the best way.

Some training deals with store policy and how to deal with customers. How long does a customer have to wait to be greeted when they walk into your store? Most importantly, how well do your employees know their products and services? Do they know how the newest phones operate? Do they know the latest apps and are they able to help customers find apps they need for particular problems. Do they know all the plans? If your employees are untrained or under trained, that means your customers are not getting the answers and information they need. If they are confronted with a problem customer, how well do they handle it? A well trained staff is the backbone of your business.

So why use mystery shopping? Because your presence in the store will mean everyone is on their best behavior. The mystery shopper is unknown to your staff and they won’t know they are being tested. Use mystery shopping on a regular basis to be sure that new updates and new products are being incorporated into your employee’s knowledge base.

Using mystery shopping is important to a successful business. Make sure that your employee’s knowledge is what it should be and your customer service is up to par.

Why Use Mystery Shopping? Rate Your Customer Service Against Your Competition

You know that mystery shopping is a great way to improve customer service in your own business, but did you know that it’s also a great way to rate your customer service against your competition?

Why Use Mystery Shopping? Rate Your Customer Service Against Your CompetitionMystery shoppers are not a new thing, but they are a smart way to keep tabs on what is happening in your store when you aren’t there. You know that they look for the following: How is your customer service? How do they treat your customers? Are they friendly and customer-focused? How long does it take them to greet people when they come in? Are they helpful and polite when they do or bored and annoyed? How well do your employees know about the products and services they are selling? Are displays up to date and eye catching? Is the store clean and neat? Are your employees neatly dressed, professional looking or in uniform? Are they following store policy about appearance, cleanliness and so forth?

Here’s the really cool thing: mystery shoppers can also do the same at your competitors and let you know how you stack up. All of the things that the mystery shopper will look for in your store, they can look for in others as well. That is an incredibly important tool to improve how things run in your own business. Knowing that your competitors have better displays means you can improve yours.

Knowing that their employees have more knowledge shows you that you need to increase your staff training. In every area where your own store can be assessed, so can your competitors. Having that information is also a good way to change your own store policies to improve your customer service.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge of your competitors will give you a powerful edge. Use mystery shopping to rate your customer service against your competitors it will help you improve your business and your bottom line.

Mystery Shopping – Take a Peek from Time to Time!

Mystery shopping. You’ve considered it before, maybe even tried it. It worked well the first time, right? Well, if it’s been awhile, you may need to take another peek at what’s going on in your store.

Retail Business Development was a huge help the first time, time to call them again. RBD sent someone in to pretend to be a customer and do some reconnaissance. You found out that your staff, by and Mystery Shopping - Take a Peek from Time to Time!large, were following your rules and protocols. But things have been off lately and you’re wondering if some of the new staff you hired are the culprits. Time to find out. RBD mystery shopping to the rescue!

A good quality mystery shopper is looking at everything about your store. Is it clean? A dirty, cluttered or unorganized store is a big red flag to customers that they need to go elsewhere.

How long did they have to wait? At the very least, being greeted when a customer walks into your store is just polite and will keep potential customers from walking off in a huff because they were ignored.

Now, how long are they waiting to be helped? Customers have busy schedules too and being made to wait for an inordinate amount of time will make them turn around and leave.

How well do those new staff members know their products and services? They may just need some training.

The mystery shopping report from RBD will give you an idea of what areas are needed. Does the staff follow store procedure? If they don’t you could be losing money, and your customers could be leaving your store angry. If they are confronted with a problem customer, how well do they handle it? Face it, angry customers are going to happen. Being able to defuse a situation and turn that angry customer into a happy one will not only bring you repeat business, but also referrals for new business.

Let RBD use their mystery shopping expertise and find out exactly where you need to change. Then do it. That tune up will be a huge help in the long run. Give us a call today to find out more! (877) 802-0924

Mystery Shopping – What Mystery Shoppers Check for in Your Store

Mystery shoppers are not a new thing, but they are a smart way to keep tabs on what is happening in your store when you aren’t there. So what does a mystery shopper look for when checking your employees out?

Mystery Shopping - What Mystery Shoppers Check for in Your Store

  • How is your customer service? How do employees treat your customers?
  • Are they friendly and customer-focused?
  • How long does it take them to greet people when they come in?
  • Are employees helpful and polite or bored and annoyed?

A good mystery shopper can tell you how your customers feel when they are in your store.

Next, product knowledge; how well do your employees know about the products and services they are selling? The wireless industry can be incredibly confusing, and if your employees can’t explain it, how can they possibly be selling the right plans and phones to your customers? Obviously they can’t and confused customers become angry ones if they felt they were talked into something they really didn’t want.

Mystery shoppers are also looking at the appearance of your store.

  • Are displays up to date and eye catching?
  • Is the store clean and neat?
  • Are your employees neatly dressed, professional looking or in uniform?
  • Are they following store policy about appearance, cleanliness and so forth?

A clean well kept store should be your expectation, and professionally dressed employees should be as well.

Some mystery shopping programs will also check things like what happens to customers calling in on the phone? How long does it take to answer? How long are they put on hold? Some will even shop your competitors and compare how you stack up against them.

Knowledge is power, and knowing what is happening in your business when you aren’t there can mean the difference between staying in business or not!


 

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