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.

Finding Points of Failure in Your Retail Store – Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a great way to find points of failure in your retail store. Knowledge is power and in this case knowledge will improve your bottom line.

Finding Points of Failure in Your Retail tore - Mystery ShoppingIf someone went into your store right now, what would they find? You hope they would find well trained staff that greet warmly every customer, have exceptional product knowledge, great upselling skills, and know and follow store policy inside and out. That’s what you want to find, but is it reality? Mystery shopping is really the only way to find that out.

So, how often do sales walk out the door of your store? You don’t know, but you have a suspicion they do. So, do you have weeks to figure out how to stop those lost sales? Of course not, that would cost you even more. You need to know, specifically, what needs improving. Finding those points of failure should be your priority.

So what are those points of failure? If your staff doesn’t greet every customer warmly when they come into your store, that’s a point of failure. If your staff falters in product knowledge, that’s a point of failure. If your staff doesn’t offer or up sell accessories, that’s a point of failure. If your store isn’t clean and well cared for, that’s a point of failure. If your staff isn’t dressed appropriately, that’s a point of failure.

Any of these things can and do turn off customers. Not being greeted or even acknowledged when they come in the store, in a warm manner not one that makes them feel “salesed” is the first thing that will send them back out the door. Not buying a phone because the sales person didn’t know enough about it to help them decide. Or worse, buying it and returning it because it wasn’t what they wanted or needed.

Mystery shopping is the perfect way to find out what your points of failure are. Use that knowledge to improve your bottom line.

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How to Sell More at Your Retail Store – Mystery Shopping!

As a retailer you always want to sell more. So how can you sell more, boost sales in your retail store? Mystery shopping! Mystery shoppers will give you good feedback about how your store is working. This information is gold when trying to figure out how and where to train and improve your staff.

How to Sell More at Your Retail Store - Mystery Shopping!Mystery shopper programs are a great way to get an unbiased view of what kinds of experiences customers have in your store. A good mystery shopper is accurate and thorough and able to provide you with a list of items and conclusions that will help you make immediate improvements to your business. Companies like Retail Business Development (RBD) have programs that are designed specifically to give you the feedback you need. RBD has two programs, Technology Store Shopper and MyVirtualDM to cover all the bases.

Both RBD programs will give you very detailed information that you can use to improve your business. A great mystery shopper can tell you many things: what your customers experience when you’re not there; sales staff’s sales effectiveness and product knowledge; whether each customer has a positive and consistent experience; whether store operations and dealer compliance are being met; strengths and weaknesses in staffing; and identifying opportunities for higher profits.

Being aware of staffing areas that are problematic means you can correct them. Correcting them means that customers are happier. If those areas involve issues with the need for additional training for staff, their new knowledge will only improve their sales which improves your bottom line.

Whatever the problems may be, even small improvements will make a difference in your customer’s experience in your store. Good experiences translate into higher sales, more loyal customers and more referrals by those happy, loyal customers.

So try mystery shopper programs. The cost will more than benefit your bottom line.

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