Online mystery shopping could become more common

Every business that exists today needs to have an Internet presence to ensure users have a pleasant experience.

Every business that exists today needs to have an Internet presence to ensure users have a pleasant experience. Many shoppers today will research and look online before ever stepping foot into a business, so ensuring the company website is up to par will be essential to keeping a business running well. Online mystery shopping is something that could see increased prevalence over the next few years, as organizations may want a neutral third party to ensure everything is working for them on the Web.

Marketing professional Roy Goffer wrote on Business 2 Community that while many current efforts online are made for bringing new customers in, these tools cannot be overlooked as a way to keep customers satisfied. For example, a mystery shopper can look to get contact information, read prices, reviews and other similar services for a business to make sure everything is useful and helpful in planning their journey toward the physical outlet.

"Conversion can be dramatically increased, by as much as 50 percent when customer uncertainty is quelled and all pertinent information is available," Goffer wrote. "Engagement is an absolute priority with any website that provides products or services to its clientele. There are many such customer services solutions, including self-service Q&As, FAQs, virtual and live chat software."

Goffer offered some tips to businesses looking to give better customer service online, which can help mystery shoppers who are looking for some positive Internet service. Real-time engagement can be key toward helping a potential or current customer, he said, as no one wants to wait. If someone has a question, it should be answered within a few minutes. Modern technology also means web customer service should be personalized for improved service, meaning the website should likely know who the customer is, what they traditionally look for and what else they may be looking at.

Other tips from Goffer include:

  • Online tools should be mobile friendly for people who browse on their smartphones and tablets in stores
  • The system needs to be easy to use for all
  • Conversion should always be the end game

Social media may also be increasingly important
Mystery shoppers who are looking at the Web may also be asked to take a gander at how the company operates on social media websites such as Twitter or Facebook. A recent infographic from The Connection found that especially among younger groups, customer service is expected on these websites. All people have a level of expectation, as 37 percent prefer their customer service through social media rather than over the phone.