Gas station uses mystery shopping for customer experience management

Most businesses understand that customer satisfaction and loyalty are key components of success.

Most businesses understand that customer satisfaction and loyalty are key components of success. Now, companies are putting greater emphasis on customer experience management as a way of managing tech-savvy consumers' interactions across channels.

Emails, contact centers, social media, customer surveys and face-to-face interactions are all factors contributing to a shoppers' satisfaction with the company, reports IT Web.

To accurately measure and manage a customer's experience, companies can consider using a mystery shopping company. SavOn, a gas station and convenience store chain, used the service to make sure it was meeting the mark for service and experience, which are becoming increasingly important to consumers.

"We realized years ago that it takes more than low prices to create a positive experience for our guests," said Sean Brown, operations director of SavOn Stores. To foster loyalty among customers, the chain uses mystery shopping companies to evaluate the quality of its guest services, Brown added.

"Our job is to determine what the service standards are for each retail concept," said Mike Green, a mystery shopper, told Convenience Store Decisions, following the assignment.

"To me, the convenience store industry has really changed in the last two years. I've noticed most convenience stores greet you and say hello. You never saw that before," Green added.

The main things mystery shoppers look for while on an assignment are bathroom cleanliness, fresh food, product quality, outside cleanliness and the quality of customer service, the source explains.

Even if a business is already employing in a number or satisfaction measures, such as surveys and quality inspections, the results from a mystery shopping report can fill in the blanks about why a business received certain results, reports Hotel News Now. Surveys might show a location is getting low scores in snack item selection, but it won't say the fresh food items are old or the snack aisle is cluttered or difficult to find. Results from a secret shopper can explain issues in detail, so businesses can take targeted action to resolve problems.