How can a business understand what a customer feels when he visits a brick-and-mortar shop? What is the best way to define customer experience? How does a business design customer experience and focus on the determined aspects?
All these answers can be given by mystery shopping research. It is no mystery that only a user can deliver the best definition of customer experience. Only the one who is using a product/service and has gone through a buying journey will be able to give an overall idea. This is where companies hire service providers who design mystery shopping programs to decode customer experience.
Mystery shopping defines customer experience
Let us take a quick look at a traditional mystery shopping program designed by a service provider.
A service provider is hired for the job. He then analyzes the services offered by the hirer. Let us take an example of retail shopping. All the aspects of mystery shopping are then designed based on the retail space experience. For instance, a shopper will approach a retail outlet via the drive-through or by walking. He will then park his car and take a shopping cart. The display units of various brands will be on the floor amidst the proper segments of products.
The customers will either be approached by the recruited staff for assistance or vice versa. The proper storing of items, easy-to-recognize kiosks, staff behaviour, knowledge, assistance, billing convenience and checkouts will be evaluated in retail mystery shopping.
A mystery shopping program is then designed according to the services provided by the hirer. Parameters are set related to customer service and experience by the hirer and service provider. A questionnaire is designed using mystery shopping software and distributed to the professional mystery shoppers. Every mystery shopper is then assigned specific business points to visit and walk through a customer’s journey.
They will check all the points mentioned in the questionnaire and give their feedback. The 3rd-eye view of the professional mystery shoppers is then accumulated digitally to generate data. This data is then used to prepare reports related to the predetermined parameters related to customer experience. Based on the data-driven reports, actionable insights are proposed by the service provider to the hirer.
The hirer then uses these insights to identify the pain points and hidden issues related to the retail shopping experience of customers. Based on the outcomes, a new strategy is defined and implemented in the brick-and-mortar shops.
Benefits of uplifting customer experience
When the shopping experience of customers is uplifted, the brand value of the business increases manifold. Satisfied customers will make repeat purchases and will add more revenue. It has also been found that retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than gaining new ones.
Mystery shopping, thus, enables a business to define the level of customer experience and its pain points. It is a brilliant marketing tool that can be used to design better services and elevate customer experience to a new level. It also establishes a brand strongly in a competitive market and increases its share of customers.