New year to bring unique customer experience trends

The best mystery shoppers are those who keep up with what is expected of modern customer service. 

The best mystery shoppers are those who keep up with what is expected of modern customer service. Mark Cameron, a columnist with BRW magazine, said businesses need to know where their customers are coming from and how to keep them happy. Providing the best possible experience is something a quality mystery shopper can address, especially as trends quickly change moving into 2014.

One big change will be in social media, he said. Even physical shops now have to be sure they are keeping an eye on these platforms. This is an area where a mystery shopper may be able to help by speaking about his or her experience communicating with a company on Twitter.

"In 2013, roles such as community management, social customer service, content marketing manager, social data analyst and social app developer rose to prominence," Cameron wrote. "Next year these will become far more commonplace. Social media will become more than a place to simply tell your story -  it will be seen as the platform to deliver a range of high-value services."

Other trends will include:

  • Loyalty programs to reward repeat business
  • Greater use of customer data to improve shopping experiences over a long-term span
  • A better level of service to the customer in order to beat the competition

CustomerThink said one change in 2014 will be that smart organizations will start to want and emphasize feedback. Speaking in terms of the financial services industry, the company said the best institutions will make it a habit to give customers easier ways to provide feedback on their dealings with the company. For mystery shoppers, this may mean looking at the business' social media presence or website to see how easy it is to send praise or file a complaint about the in-store experience.