Mystery Shopping and customer’s feedback are both important but quite different things. Both are good tools but if You mix them together then You will get neither! How so? Personal opinion and well targeted measuring in service evaluation differ in the same way as professional doctor’s and neighbour’s diagnosis.
What kind of Mystery Shopping is objective?
Objective means measurable using a certain scale. Mystery Shopping is objective if it helps understand whether the employees are fulfilling the expectations of the employer. In most cases the expectations of employees are (or should be) concrete and understandable to the employees. From the other hand customer feedback collects the personal and subjective opinions of different customers.
If You mix these two and ask in a Mystery Shopping questionnaire the personal opinion of the Mystery Shopper, then You are walking on thin ice. Before starting with Service Evaluation You should have set an objective and measurable scale. For this part our Mystery Shopping company’s experience and vast knowledge of sales and service process is of utmost importance to make a fruitful, logical and objective preparation work before the start of a Mystery Shopping period.
How could Mystery Shopping turn out to be subjective?
For example, if You ask Mystery Shoppers what they think of something on a scale from 1 to 10, then we can see that the personal opinion of that particular person is ruling. But if You measure objective points in a service process and try to see where the behaviour of Your employees objectively does not match with Your Service Standards, then You will have objective information to focus on in the future.
Many questions could also be interpreted differently by different Mystery Shoppers. For example: “Was an employee polite?”, “Were they listening carefully?”, “Were they friendly?”, “Was the customer/service area clean?”, and so on. This kind of questions can easily be interpreted differently by different persons depending on their background and personality. It would be much smarter to measure objective points of the service process what both the employee and employer understand the same way.
What is the purpose of well focused Mystery Shopping?
The goal of Mystery Shopping service should be to identify the weak points that prevent achieving the standards of Your company. Naturally, the standards and expectations when it comes to customer service process can and will differ by different companies.
For example in the same Shopping Centre there are companies with very different service models. It would be very difficult to objectively measure all of them with the same scale. It’s smarter to use different questionnaires for retail stores and restaurants or cashiers and pop up kiosks. Don’t You agree?
Mystery Shopping periods provide valuable information and input for the training and education process of Your employees. This data should be objective not to irritate employees and to give room for different interpretations. In this case the employees will see and feel that Mystery Shopping is supporting the development of customer service for them and is not the “enemy”. This way it is possible to measure the effectiveness of certain training or development actions have been organized.
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