Mystery shoppers essential to great online customer experience

Mystery shoppers can provide invaluable insights into a company's online operations and procedures.

Mystery shoppers can provide invaluable insights into a company's online operations and procedures. Though many service providers may view customer relations as an exclusively in-person experience, a single unpleasant online interaction can have a negative effect on a company's revenue, sales, customer loyalty and future referrals.

Monetate states that 97 percent of customers in a recent survey claimed their dealings with a company online determined whether or not they purchased any product through the company's site. In addition, 89 percent said that due to a bad online customer service experience, he or she decided not to work with the company again. These are significant numbers that cannot be ignored. A steady increase in Web traffic and online purchases directly affects business growth.

This information does not just apply to Web-based or online-only companies. Institutions that must blend online with in-person customer service should take note as well. Hotels, for instance, where bookings are often made online, must provide top quality Web support alongside star treatment as soon as the guest walks into the lobby. As Ventures smartly relates, the hotel review begins before the customer has even set foot inside the building. Everything from the online booking to the car waiting for the traveler at the airport, as well as the traffic on the way to the hotel affects the customer service experience. The initial online communication can set the tone for the rest of the trip.

With mystery shoppers enlisted to review website operations and interaction with a company's online client support team, the entire Web experience will become sharper and more in tune with patron needs. This insider information will clarify ways in which a business can improve client satisfaction and learn more about the frequency with which customers visit its website.