There are plenty of circumstances that influence the performance of in-store activations. Have you ever wondered why yours may not be hitting the expected KPIs? Even though it has a great location, it offers a great product, has well-trained staff, etc. However, there is an essential point that you may be overlooking: the customers' experience evaluation.  

Innovating, creating new products, and expanding the market is crucial, but focusing on valuable customer experience is the essential element that can set you apart from the competition. Ultimately, that's the factor that defines, over quality and quantity, which business is better.

Mystery Shopping as the Game Changer 

A satisfied customer is more likely to become a loyal one, which ultimately boosts income and helps to broaden the customers' base. In addition, the level of satisfaction after experiencing your products is directly related to how they remember your brand and decide to engage again in the future and provide positive feedback. Or, on the contrary, to never return and speak negatively about it to their mates. The fact is a satisfied shopper, a loyal shopper, advocates for your brand and helps promote your business.

How you integrate the customer experience into your business model directly impacts how you look at your business as a whole. However, how can a company evaluate (and hence improve) the level of customer experience they provide? 

Two words, one easy solution: Mystery Shopping. Any retail business which depends on employees selling things to consumers needs a Mystery Shopping Program.

Mystery Shopping is a very effective way to get reliable and ongoing feedback from actual customers, not only about your own business' performance but also about your competitors. In addition, it brings you an objective view of how your employees interact with your clients and works as a research tool on how to retain customers. 

SmartSpotter has narrowed it down to 7 mystery shopping benefits in retail: 

1.    Helps you improve customer service

Monitoring sales to determine which locations are not meeting your business goals means wasting time and energy. But with a Mystery Shopping tool, you can get feedback on how to improve customer service there, monitor and measure service performance. It pinpoints what the business needs to improve on and the areas the company excels.

2.    Employee Evaluation

If a big part of your business relies on customer/employee interactions, it is crucial to evaluate and keep track of how the employees respond to clients. 
Mystery Shopping helps rate customer experience based on their authentic interaction with the staff and evaluate employee job performance.
Is the staff professional, has product knowledge and cares about the customer? Are they welcoming and friendly? How do they present themselves? Are they helpful, sharing promotions and providing receipts?
With this tool, it is possible to verify employee compliance. 

3.    Customer Satisfaction

Mystery Shoppers help you directly assess customer satisfaction, evaluating how other shoppers receive the product/service. It works by getting reliable and specific feedback from a customer point of view. 

4.    Monitor competition

We are aware that competition in the retail industry is fierce, and Mystery Shopping provides a benchmarking tool so you can get information about how your business stacks up against the competition. 
Getting real-time data on how other businesses are performing, what they are doing, the stores' conditions, etc. can help you evaluate your business performance and find ways of improving. It can even help you assess their level of customer satisfaction and make a cross-comparison with your own business. 

5.    Increase consistency

Mystery Shopping provides an efficient means for monitoring consistency between locations, ensuring that all agreements are met. It also allows your business to quantify and track those benchmarks on the same stores over time. 

6.    Monitor Facility Conditions

Is the store set up and complying as instructed? Is it neat, in good condition? These are other questions that Mystery Shopping can help answer.

7.    Identifying training needs and tools

All the above elements analyzed can lead to an awareness of areas of the business that need to be improved, and therefore help create training tools for employee development, design and implement new strategies to provide a better service to customers and enhance customer experience.

Our Mystery Shopping Model

With the help of our AI and crowdsourcing model, we have developed an innovative way of performing Mystery Shopping. App-based and tech-driven, we connect with shoppers all over Australia, ensuring extensive coverage as well as real-time perspectives. SmartSpotter works as your eyes and ears on the shop floor. We are collecting both reliable data and real experiences from actual shoppers. 

Mystery Shops are executed directly through smartphones, and the information is then sent to the cloud to be scanned and analyzed using our AI technology. So with each store shoppers visit, you can get high-quality information and feedback, as well as pictures or videos to increase your business bottom line and excel at customer experience and satisfaction. 

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