Fixing customer service in retail via mystery shopping

Everyone has had a bad experience in retail shopping at some point.

Everyone has had a bad experience in retail shopping at some point. Whether it be a dirty store, rude employee or bad product, companies run the risk of losing business these instances take place. As a mystery shopper, you can help make change at companies that need to be more aware of their customers' needs by pointing out areas where they may be falling short. Retail Customer Experience said there are plenty of issues that need to be examined by retailers, including whether they are welcoming customers to create a good first impression.

"Follow up with a question that is specific to the reason the customer is calling or shopping with you," the website said. "Don't ask a yes or no question, such as 'Can I help you?' Instead, ask an open-ended question such as, 'What are you looking for today?' The best response will give you specific information about why the customer is doing business with you."

As a mystery shopper, you can note what kind of questions are being asked by employees when you walk into the store. This can go a long way toward figuring out how current and potential customers are being treated from the moment they step into a shop.

Other issues to look for include:

  • Are workers asking what customers are looking for? They may be able to help in other ways if the first option isn't there.
  • Many employees may not be upselling products, but this could be a big sales boost for the company
  • Some do not say "thank you" to customers; this should change as soon as possible

Technology use expands in retail
According to eConsultancy, more brands are now creating specific communities for better customer service that help resolve disputes on social media away from their main accounts. A more complex mystery shopping job may ask someone to complain about an issue they had at a retail outlet to see what kind of response they get from the organization.

More astute mystery shoppers should be on the look out for these trends. It is imperative for everyone, even third-party associates of a company, to comprehend that the use of technology is increasing across multiple organizations. Keeping customer service aspects like this in mind may help set you apart from other secret shoppers who may be stuck in the days before social media and the Internet came into prominence.