7 ways your mystery shopping report can enhance employee engagement

When completed thoroughly and honestly, mystery shopping reports will provide companies and its employees with an abundance of useful information.

When completed thoroughly and honestly, mystery shopping reports give priceless insight to companies and their employees. The feedback, culled from graphs, charts and detailed responses to specific questions, can be used to help improve the overall business and better engage employees, ensuring the team is on the road to success. 

Here are seven ways your company can use a mystery shopping report to boost employee engagement:

1. Reach out
Not all comments have to come from a mystery shopper or your customers. Reach out to your employees for trustworthy feedback once in a while. Seeing as they know the business well, real-time feedback from an in-house worker can be quite beneficial. Ask your employees to draft up a quick evaluation expressing their thoughts and concerns.

According to QuestBack, a market research company, when a company's culture is centered around a sense of loyalty, that quality is reciprocated through the actions of both its customers and employees.

Smart, new ideas are likely to surface when companies reach out to their employees by asking for feedback. In addition, those who are engaged and dedicated to the business are typically productive, considerate and more likely to stay with the company, QuestBack noted.

Your employees know the business like the back of their hand so don't be afraid to reach out for raw feedback. Your employees know the business like the back of their hand, so don't be afraid to reach out for raw feedback.

2. Share the report
If your company has an online portal, internal social-media pages, or a companywide email chain, upload or send the report to give everyone easy and constant access to all write-ups and summaries.

By doing this, managers can emphasize areas of weaknesses and solicit ideas for how to improve them per the mystery shopper's notes. In addition, managers can highlight areas of achievement pointed out by the mystery shopper as a job well done.

If your company does not have or use electronic resources to post information, this is something to consider, as this method of communication can be extremely beneficial. An online portal or internal media page is the perfect platform on which to engage your employees, as it will keep them in the loop and up to date on important information pertaining to the company.

3. All-staff meeting
Host an all-staff meeting every so often, but especially after a mystery shopper makes an appearance. This creates an open invitation for employees to respectfully discuss the outcome of the company's mystery shopping report. More often than not, this will turn into a team brainstorm session that generates ideas for further improvements and resolutions.

4. Role play
As an interactive method of training, role playing is a great way to engage your employees and allow them to understand their co-workers' responsibilities. Get creative, and turn some of the comments and criticisms from the mystery shopping report into scenarios that your employees will act out. Role playing will help improve employee performance by letting them hash out simple solutions to areas that need extra attention. Have one of your employees play manager for the day, too!

Although this activity may seem intimidating, it can help boost company morale. This training technique can also bring your employees closer together, allowing them to feel more comfortable when working under the same roof. Consider pairing people together from different departments, encouraging them to build and create new friendships. 

"A company's sense of loyalty is reciprocated though the actions of its dedicated employees."

5. Rookie talk
As soon as your company hires new employees, inform them about your mystery shopping program. Although this may seem like cheating, letting your employees know upfront that the occasional mystery shopper might appear can improve their behavior and performance at the workplace. They are also more likely to abide by company policies and procedures, consistently living up to the business's standards.

Mystery shopping reports can also be used as part of the orientation process to improve staff training. Consider hosting a new training session every month or every time a mystery shopper pops up. This will help your employees learn new techniques and how to effectively approach a dissatisfied customer. Regularly referencing these reports will remind your staff how to behave and how crucial they are to your business.

6. Friendly competition
Emphasize teamwork by hosting a friendly competition between your locations to inspire excellence and engage your hardworking staff. Use your mystery shopping reports to share which areas of the business need some refinements, such as faster service or cleaner silverware. Reward employees who demonstrate improved performance with monetary incentives (think: gift cards) or an extra day off. Nothing sparks excellence like a little friendly competition!

7. One-on-one discussions
Pull your employees aside individually to discuss detailed results of the company's mystery shopping report. This can be beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, these private discussions allow employees to address their questions and concerns in a private manner without feeling embarrassed if they are called out by a co-worker. Secondly, employees who are constantly on the floor hear raw feedback from customers, giving them access to information that a mystery shopper cannot provide. They can clue you into what makes customers smile and what turns them off. Your employees can also provide insight on what customers may say about your company's competitors.