The right time to hire a mystery shopper at a retailer or restaurant

There is a reason the service sector goes by that name: The emphasis is on serving others.

There is a reason the service sector goes by that name: The emphasis is on serving others. The restaurant and retail businesses know this point particularly well, which is why the focus is on improving customer service at all times. A better experience means higher sales and more customers that add to the revenue. However, in an era where customer reviews and feedback are a dime a dozen, even the most thought out posting on your store tends not to have all the details you need to have a great understanding of customer perceptions. That's why there are good reasons for you to hire a mystery shopper to visit your store.

Getting everything right
There a lot of things in customer service that have to be addressed every day. All of these things can be covered when bringing in a mystery shopper to visit, according to MSPA Executive Director Dan Denston. For example, you may want to hire a mystery shopper to examine how customers view your store or restaurant. You may find that in initial reports, your expectations for the store don't match the perceptions of the shopper and can thus expand to other consumers. In another situation, you can make sure that staff members are being responsive to the needs of the customer, while staying in compliance of company rules and regulations.

Mystery shoppers can also uncover non-staff-related issues.  For example, a store might be disorganized in various ways. It can become very easy to get lost, or the customer may struggle to find specific items. That can result in people easily being dissuaded from shopping at your store. Getting this information can allow you to reorganize into something more suitable for consumers.

Mystery shopping can be used in other ways as well. Business 2 Community suggests that the point of sale in a store is a particularly useful place to review with a mystery shopper. You can find out if the counter looks clean, as well as if the clerk is attentive, has good posture and is properly greeting customers. The amount of time it takes to complete a transaction can be particularly useful, as well as any processes the clerk has to complete as part of company rules, such as upselling a new item or special service. From the review of the experience, you can build a better store.