Mystery shopper for perfect sales
11.12.2014 12272

Mystery shopper for perfect sales

Serviceman Mystery Shopping - training agency established in 2003. Today it is one of the largest providers of Mystery Shopping services in Russia. Conducts up to 10000 inspections of shops, restaurants, banks, insurance companies, cinemas, beauty salons, etc. every month. Among the customers of the company are such shoe chains as M-Shoes, Salamander, Ralf Ringer, Primorosso, Corso Como.

There would be a reason: what should be the reason for the action

It is a mistake to assume that the task of mystery shopping is solely to identify negligent employees and the subsequent censure or dismissal of the "guilty". There may be several prerequisites for such a check. This is network monitoring, in order to unify and standardize the provided service, and benchmarking - a comparative analysis of your own service with the closest competitor. In addition, it is useful to conduct such checks and is even shown after the training of employees in order to identify the effectiveness of trainings, as well as before the launch of strategically important campaigns to monitor the readiness of all retail outlets for events. But, according to experts, it is the growth of the network that is the main prerequisite for retailers to turn to the "mystery shopper" mission. When you have a small network - no more than three or four points - you can independently control its work. But once the number of stores rises to 10, it becomes difficult to control service standards. “Another indicator for holding is the remoteness of stores. If the network is small, there are 2 - 3 stores, but they are located far from each other and you cannot control them due to territorial disunity, ”adds Nadir Alimov, Managing Partner of Serviceman Mystery Shopping. It is very important to decide on the purpose of the check even before contacting the company providing the service, the questionnaire, instructions and visit schedules are drawn up specifically for a specific task. If they do not correspond to the goals, then you can get a "curve" result, which is unlikely to contribute to sales growth.

We play openly: we inform staff about the launch of the program

Despite the fact that the mission is called "mystery shopper", you should not arrange a top-secret action from the check. It is advisable not only to inform employees about the program, but also to tell the purpose and technology of its implementation. Of course, it's not worth revealing all the cards, otherwise, the mission will fail. But the staff, being aware of the assessment and understanding what criteria will be assessed, will begin to pay attention to the observance of standards and "pull up". You can even familiarize sellers with check forms. First, it will allow them to represent the key points of merchandising and better navigate the standards. Secondly, they can conduct self-tests on a regular basis, which will allow them to be ready for inspection by the store management at any time.

Also, do not forget that before you measure any parameters, they must be implemented at the retailer entrusted to you. In short, before assessing the implementation of service standards, it is necessary to introduce these standards and train personnel in the skills of their implementation. Do not hope that retail experience obliges your staff to know all the nuances of working with a client. “That is, you have to develop standards that must be strictly observed at all points of the network. The MS mission will allow you to track their compliance so that the service is uniform at all points. It is important to remember that first you develop standards, implement them, and then follow, ”Nadir Alimov clarifies.

Put a daw: how to draw up a questionnaire

As a rule, the company working with the "mystery shopper" service is familiar with the standards and requirements of certain networks and it will not be difficult for them to prepare a checklist for the client, which will reflect all the questions about the network's operation, ”comments Nadir Alimov. - The company has a standard checklist, the so-called draft, which is adjusted at the request of the client: some questions are deleted, others, on the contrary, are entered into the questionnaire. Based on the purposes of the audit, we are finalizing the standard checklist for the client. " It is generally accepted that there are no difficulties in such a method of verification, unless the head of the company does not have a sufficient staff of auditors, but he knows for sure what and how to verify. In this case, the contractor is handed a ready-made questionnaire, where, according to the author, all the necessary verification parameters are entered. However, a specialized specialist should also be involved in the preparation of the MS questionnaire in the contractor company. And the client can only express wishes and make adjustments, coordinating them with the specific standards of their network.

What are the standards for shoe retail?

- Standard uniform and appearance. The presence of a badge is checked, the conformity of clothes to the standards of the network - neat clothes, the presence of a uniform (if any), closed shoes, and so on.

- Service standards. There are many nuances here. For example, some chains consider it an indispensable rule to bring to the client not one, but two pairs of similar sizes for fitting, which always speeds up the process and motivates them to buy. Someone obliges sellers to help the client tie their shoelaces when trying on. “This standard may seem unexpected and strange. But a similar rule is often introduced by sports shoe brand chains. When shopping for running shoes, it is very important to insist that the client tries on both shoes and it is important to help him lace up the shoes correctly, thereby achieving the correct fit and fixation of the foot. After all, for sports shoes this is the main rule. “The psychological moment is at work here. A correctly matched pair will “sit” perfectly and the client will no longer want to part with her, ”Nadir Alimov comments.

- Standards of work at the checkout. Many shoe retailers place great importance on these standards. How was the information about the guarantee reported to the buyer, how the money was accepted, whether the information about leaving, the receipt and so on was put in the bag with shoes. Did the related products offer ...

Often, a client adds blocks on marketing and merchandising of a retail outlet to the checklist. In this case, not the work of the sellers is assessed, but the general criteria of the store - how the goods are arranged, whether all the models are presented on the shelves, the laces on the presented models are tied or untied, how the price tags are located, etc. In this case, a very extensive questionnaire is obtained. But, as a rule, shoe networks enter about 20-30 basic questions into the checklist.

Work on bugs: analyze the result

The "mystery shopping" method, like any other research, is simply a collection of information, a statement of facts. Of course, the results are "summed up" and presented in the form of quite quantitative indicators: the percentage of fulfillment of standards is indicated, point ratings are cost, etc. But it is important to understand that MS does not guarantee subsequent changes.

The mystery shopping mission is a thermometer. We measure the temperature. And why she got up, how to treat and who should treat - these are questions that need to be resolved by the client himself. We state only the fact, yes, there is a temperature. You can measure it at least every day, but if you do not make an attempt to bring it down, that is, to cure the body, a thermometer will not help here, - says Nadir Alimov. - Imagine that you do not have a thermometer at home and you call the nurse every time to measure it, but you do not knock her down. This is money wasted. "

That is why it is important to initially clearly set goals, understand the tasks of such verification, and own tools to eliminate identified problems. Experts warn that you should not wait for bad results, and not wait, consider the mission a failure. If you are working to improve the service, you must choose the right staff, train, motivate and take control of the quality of their work. One of the elements of this system is the MS program. This is one tenth of your control over the service.

Wizards called? Contractor or Self Test

Market professionals do not hide the fact that you can carry out such a check yourself. An approximate checklist can be found on the Internet, friends and acquaintances, for sure, will not refuse your request to participate in the program. “We are not talking about the uniqueness of the offer. But if you count the time and labor costs, then it will turn out to be almost more expensive than a hired agency will do, ”says Nadir Alimov. In addition, the agency conducts trainings and educational programs for its staff. The quality of the appraiser base is one of the main factors of the provider's professionalism and its ability to implement the project. “We have a different class of buyers. They should cover all market segments and be, as they say, in the format of a particular store. " - explains Nadir Alimov.

What to look for when choosing an agency that provides MS services?

- Work experience and customer base... This is not a network of buyers working "remotely", but a serious company with a well-defined infrastructure. It has a recruiting department, a training department, and a quality department.

- Full-time staff selection. This is very important, since many companies are ready to "subscribe" to a person's program after five minutes of a phone call or via the Internet! It is important for the company to assess the appearance of the future program participant, his ability to conduct a dialogue.

- Value for money. The price for this service on the market can differ almost twofold - the lowest price for inspection in the shoe segment is 500-600 rubles, the highest is 1200 rubles (per visit).

- Training. In a good company, training seminars and trainings are mandatory. The staff should receive not only basic knowledge, but also be aware of all the nuances of the work of a particular retail sector.

- Convenience of work. It’s great if the work of the company can be monitored online. When all the profiles are promptly delivered to a server, accessible both to the seller of services and the buyer. This makes it possible to quickly respond to certain malfunctions in the system:

according to the results, he may reward or fine a particular seller or take more strategic measures.

If you invest money wisely, this is a very correct investment and it will definitely work. But if the “mystery shopper” mission is treated as a panacea for all troubles and not to go further and not build a system, this is money down the drain.




1. Does the appearance of the seller - consultant match (RMS)?

2. During the inspection, the seller was in his working area (department).

3. If there are buyers in the seller’s working area (department), did he approach the buyers on his own initiative?

4. During the sale, did the seller adjust to the pose, pace, timbre and lexical features of the buyer’s speech?

5. The seller escorted the buyer to the adjacent department, did he express the buyer’s wishes regarding the goods, did he carry out the purchases to the credit department, cash desk?

6. Did the seller focus on the buyer's opinion? Did you have addictions to certain brands and types of goods?

7. The seller greeted the buyer with the phrases: "Good afternoon, what interested you?"; “Good afternoon (morning, evening)! My name is ... I see you are interested ... "; "Good afternoon! What ... (product) are you interested in? "

8. Did the seller adapt to the buyer?

9. The seller was able to relieve tension from the buyer, that is (to make the buyer an inconspicuous compliment; to translate the dialogue with the buyer on a neutral topic, etc.)?

10. The seller used the technique of active listening, which involves the ability to ask open questions to the buyer: “What interested you?”; "Which model suits you best?"; "How many functions are more acceptable for you?"

11. The seller used the tactics of non-verbal “active listening”: accompanying the buyer's speech by nodding his head, phrases “yes…”; "Yeah ..."; "Of course ..." and. etc.?

12. Did the seller ask questions by analogy (similarity of the products he offered)?

13. Did the seller ask at least two questions to the buyer?

14. Did the seller ask the buyer questions in order to identify the true criteria and motives when choosing the purchase by the buyer?

15. When identifying the selection criteria and the needs of the buyer, the seller built questions in this order to consider the hierarchy of these needs. That is, to identify the most important purchase selection criteria?

16. In the process of argumentation, the seller asked the buyer closed-ended questions: "Does this model suit you?"; “Is this size of the washing machine right for you?”; "Do you like this color?"

17. When arguing, the seller used only the information that he received from the buyer. (That is, if the buyer does not ask the seller where the Indesit equipment is assembled, the seller should not be informed that it is being made in Lipetsk)?

18. Did the seller use only the arguments that he identified when communicating with the buyer?

19. When presenting a product, the seller used only those technical characteristics that, when using the product, satisfy the needs and motives of the buyer?

20. The seller did not allocate a specific brand of goods, but presented all the goods that can satisfy the functional needs of the buyer?

21. When presenting a product, did the seller choose only that product that meets the arguments of the selection criterion more weighty for the buyer?

22. Did the seller present the price clearly, confidently?

23. When announcing the price, did the seller use in his speech: diminutive words, adverbs and other particles of the Russian language to soften the perception of the price by the buyer?

24. Did the seller work (open) each objection of the buyer that was not even voiced?

25. When working with objections, did the seller use all the sales techniques available to him for this?

26. Did the seller work with the buyer either before making the purchase, or until the reasoned deliberate refusal of the buyer to buy?

27. When making a positive decision on the purchase by the buyer, did the seller use all the motives and criteria important to the buyer obtained in identifying the motives for the purchase?

28. Did the seller offer the buyer related products, justifying their purchase?

Every month conducts up to 10000 inspections of shops, restaurants, banks, insurance companies, cinemas, beauty salons, etc. Among the company's customers, such shoe chains as M-Shoes, Salamander, ...
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