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The importance of intercept surveys

Learning about your patrons is essential when it comes to developing a high level of customer service. Mystery shopping can help you determine some of the challenges that running a business can entail. But sometimes, the best source of information is not just from the mystery shopper, but from regular customers themselves. This is especially the case if you're a local store with a modest but loyal consumer base. Knowing what makes these people tick can help you do much better overall. One method of doing this is through creating an intercept or exit survey, especially after a big event.

Talking to folks
Intercept surveys, sometimes called exit interviews or intercept interviews, are defined by analytics firm Survey Analytics as a survey conducted after a person leaves the store or facility. This report is designed to find out more about their immediate shopping experience.

The process works by having a person stand at a key position outside the store, observe a patron leaving, then approach them to find out if they're interested in conducting the survey. The person is screened with one or two questions to determine eligibility, such as if he or she has purchased something, then further questions are asked about the shopping experience in doing so. When multiple surveys are completed, you can then read over the data.

There are a few benefits and drawbacks to utilizing intercept surveys as a method of gathering this information. On the one hand, you can get an immediate gauge of how customers feel about your store's service and environment while their memories are still fresh. You also gain a lot of results quickly to effectively measure how your business is stacking up. On the other hand, research firm Hardwick Research notes that there may be some hoops you have to jump through to complete the process, such as being permitted by property owners to have people stand outside to conduct surveys.

Working together
There are good reasons to use intercept surveys in conjunction with mystery shopping services. The surveys can give you a sense of what customers are particularly liking or disliking, and identify issues that need to be addressed. With a mystery shopper, you can get more detailed information on the cause of problems in customer service, so that you can address them more directly. The feedback from customers can enable you to build parameters for which a shopper should look. The reports from both will enable you to make a better business overall.