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How does mystery shopping help expose the gaps in your store's service?
19.01.2021 2938

How does mystery shopping help expose the gaps in your store's service?

Today, the lack of quality service and a customer-oriented atmosphere in the store is bad manners. Companies that did not care about their customers, did not think about their feelings and emotions before, during and after visiting the store, are rapidly losing sales and leaving the market. It is sometimes not easy to identify hidden problems in the work of sellers, and here you need an outside perspective - for example, by checking a mystery shopper. SR expert Maria Gerasimenko tells about the specifics of this service.

Maria Gerasimenko Maria Gerasimenko -

CEO of FashionAdvisers, an expert in the management and development of fashion business. www.fashion-advisers.ru

Main areas of activity: building business processes in the fashion industry, assortment matrix management, visual merchandising, sales and service management, development and implementation of loyalty programs.

Site: fashion-advisers.ru

Instagram: mariagerra

TikTok: maria.gerra

Some shoe business owners avoid mystery shopping. Everyone has their own reasons for this: fear of change, attachment to former employees, difficulties in finding new employees, fear of facing the truth. Let's be frank: the position “If I don’t know it, then it doesn’t exist” has not led anyone to success yet.

There are owners who regularly invite mystery shoppers. But they often step on another rake: they fine the sellers if they did not provide the proper service that meets the company's standards. This turns the mystery shopper into a "hot potato" that sellers toss to each other, not wanting to take responsibility.

Visiting a mystery shopper should be a celebration and an opportunity to receive a premium for the right service. This motivates sellers to strive for perfect work with all buyers. Include a mystery shopper service bonus above 90% in your incentive program and you will see the result.

Preparing to visit the mystery shopper:

  • Determine the purpose of visiting the mystery shopper. What do you want to check? This can be the compliance of the employees' work with the service standards, the assessment of the application of the acquired skills after the training, the assessment of the customer-oriented atmosphere of the store, or other tasks.
  • Prepare the terms of reference. In other words, describe the actions and questions by means of which the mystery shopper can obtain the necessary information and achieve its goals. Whether the mystery shopper will be conflicted, phlegmatic, arrogant or manipulative is determined at this stage.
  • On the basis of the terms of reference, form a mystery shopper questionnaire. It is important that the mystery shopper completes this questionnaire within 30 minutes after visiting the store. Otherwise, the human factor will make its own adjustments to the research results.
  • After drawing up the questionnaire, a mystery shopper legend is developed. In other words, we invent a story for the buyer: who he is, what his needs, preferences, fears and characteristics are. We carried out checks with crying wives who returned the goods, since my husband did not allow them to be worn, we had arrogant girls of model appearance who non-stop swearing at the staff and showed their arrogance, there were also quiet, ordinary secret shoppers who controlled the machinations with side of sellers.
  • Take care of photo, audio, or video recording of the process of visiting a mystery shopper.

Further, when the terms of reference were drawn up, the questionnaire was formed, and the legend was selected, it was the turn to choose an executor. Now, I think you understand how important it is for the mystery shopper to be competent in the specifics of the shoe store before giving an expert assessment of the work of the employees and the store. By the way, secret agents of Fashion Advisers carry out checks throughout Russia, the price does not change from the location of your store.

And then the question arises: where to find such employees? The performer must have skills in psychology, be artistic, attentive and, of course, perfectly know the subject of the test. It is not easy to find such employees on the fly, therefore, you can order the Mystery Shopper service from professionals, or train your performers on special courses. Keep in mind that a mystery shopper is a mystery shopper because sellers shouldn't recognize him. Therefore, the same agent cannot visit the store more than two times and remain incognito.

Example shopping plan:

  1. The mystery shopper enters, greets only if the seller said hello
  2. He looks around in the store, slowly getting to know the assortment.
  3. If there was no initiative from the seller, invite the seller for a consultation.
  4. Carefully examines the offered models, periodically inserts "mystery shopping phrases" (see below)
  5. Determined with the choice, approaches the checkout.
  6. Continues to carefully examine the model.
  7. Refuses to purchase with the words "I will still think and come another time."

Some mystery shopping phrases that should be heard:

  1. Wow! Why so expensive? Even in a boutique on Leninsky I saw the same shoes much cheaper ...
  2. What material are these boots made of?
  3. In which country is this produced? - Are you seriously? This is China pure water!
  4. Girl, I am surprised at you! The price of this bag is crazy, and the quality leaves much to be desired!
  5. I see that this is not leather, but a real oilcloth! Why are you hanging noodles on my ears? (say not too aggressively, with dignity, without raising your voice)
  6. Did you know that the same shoes can be bought much cheaper in the online store? Therefore, I will try on from you, and then I will buy from them!
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