How Poor Customer Service Hurts Your Sales
1) A bad experience can cause a customer to leave your store without buying.
2) These customers are far less likely to return to your store which erodes your shopper loyalty.
3) A mistreated customer will also share their bad experience with friends and family - often urging them not to visit your business. Word of mouth is indeed a powerful form of advertising - good and bad.
How important is it to improve the customer experience?
An American Express study answers this question. Seventy percent of shoppers spend 13% more with companies that provide excellent customer service. Naturally you want to increase your sales. But how do you judge the quality of your customer service?
Can you watch employees?
They will be on their best behaviour when you’re around.
Can you ask the employees?
No one will tell you that they are doing a bad job.
Can you ask your customers?
Customers may give you feedback but they may not focus on relevant issues.
A mystery shopping program sends unbiased shoppers into your store. Their feedback will provide a reality check. You’ll know the answers to all of the above questions and the feedback will help you focus your efforts.
See Your Business The Way Your Customer Does
No one inside your company can give you the perspective a mystery shopper brings. The mystery shopper’s job is to make observations and provide statements about employee behaviour, store conditions and potential problems.
Use the feedback from your mystery shopping program to create additional focus and improve the customer experience. Do more of what’s working - and give more focus to what is not working.
Measure Compliance To Your Benchmarks
Mystery shoppers will be clear on the standards you expect from your staff. They will note how well your team are executing to these benchmarks and notify you if they don’t.
Gain Insights Into Customer Satisfaction
What makes for a satisfied customer?
A company that makes every shopping trip a great experience.
Are you creating that experience?
A mystery shopper can take note of what your staff are doing when they enter the store. Are they serving customers at the checkout and on the floor? Alternatively, are they clustered around, gossiping and updating social media?
As well as their interactions with staff, mystery shoppers can observe interactions with other customers. They’ll be able to give you feedback on how staff treated the other clients. A mystery shopper can evaluate every element involved in creating an outstanding customer experience.
Keep Employees Vigilant
Tell your employees you are starting a mystery shopping program. Why? Because you'll build trust with them. Imagine how your employees would feel if they receive feedback from a mystery shopping program you ran without informing them. Successful retailers create high-trust cultures.
You'll also get better performance from every employee. When any customer could be a mystery shopper, every customer gets treated better. Your employees stay engaged and turnover rates will be lower.
If you don't consistently review the expected customer experience with your staff, it will be more difficult to execute it. Better behaviour improves the customer experience and results in increased direct sales and more repeat business.
Start an Incentive Program
Incentive programs will boost employee productivity and loyalty. Reward employees for doing the right thing, says Ken Blanchard, the author of Whale Done! If you give people attention for doing the right thing, they’ll do more of that.
Target Training to Areas that are Most Needed
Where should you spend money to train your staff? Are their sales skills lacking? Do they have time management skills? What is the level of customer service they provide?
The options for training are endless. Your end goal is to improve customer experience - and mystery shopping shows you how. The mystery shopping results provide feedback about which training areas need urgent attention.
With this feedback, you can choose training programs that will have the biggest impact. You can focus your training efforts where they will make the greatest impact.
Make Good Customer Service Great Customer Service
You should always strive to improve your customer experience in any way possible. Mystery shopping is the best tool in your arsenal to do just that.
Hire a mystery shopping company with an impressive track record - remember, valuable feedback costs money. Worthless feedback costs even more.
You need the kind of feedback that will help you stay on track in areas where you are doing well. It should points to the areas you need to improve. Moreover, it should expose problems and outline possible solutions.
For more information on how a mystery shopping program can help increase your business, visit Mystery Shopping Providers.
"Customers may forget what you said but they'll never forget how you made them feel."
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