Tuesday, 4 February 2014

How a good mystery shopping programme can help grow your retail business

In this blog I will use my vast experience to show how a well-structured mystery shopping programme can help your retail business to grow.  Many High Street retailers have such programmes to ensure that a good standard of homogenised service is available over all their sites.  Unfortunately, some of these programmes can make the testing bland and uninventive.  I have experienced some of these, where the mystery shop visit is unstructured and the elements that the mystery shopper is required to test so general that every site must pass every time.

What not to test shop-

  • Did the cashier greet you?
  • Was the store clean and tidy?
  • Were the staff well-presented?
  • Did the team member wear a name badge?
Yes, these are important parts of customer service, but theses are also management functions.  If you recruit, train and supervise quality store management teams then these basic elements will become a given.  These can be checked by area management, if a 2nd line of checking needs to happen.

These are really low-level service issues - Let's set the bar a little higher than that!

What you should test shop-
  • Did the team member offer you other items to compliment your purchase?
So we are now looking at team members that add value to their customer and value to the business.

  • Were you approached by a team member when you were browsing?
Again we can see the right behaviours from your retail team.

  • Get your mystery shoppers to ask a product-specific question
Maybe there is a new product or a product on promotion that ll the team should know about.  Assessing their behaviours in and around this product will give you a better idea of how the team is getting behind this promotion than a bland question from the top group.

Again, these are only short blogs, intended to give thought and insight, not to take up your day with reading.  Take note of the above points and feed them back through your management structure to ensure that your mystery shops are productive and structured.

Thanks for reading.
Some things you can't buy on the High Street - Kindle version of Take Me Home

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