How Mystery Shopping Can Help Increase Sales
Posted On: August 29, 2018
You enter a retail store and look around. Several factors shape your shopping experience and most of them influence you at a subconscious level. Right from whether or not the store is clean to the friendliness of the staff- your shopping gut checks the boxes against each of these critical aspect. Long back as in the 1940s, businesses realized they had to keep an eye on their employees and business operations. They wanted an outsider view of their business by getting into the shoes of their customers. This is when mystery shopping came about. Secret shoppers are hired by retailers to visit their store just as a customer would and take note of all factors that add up to become the customer’s overall experience.
Esteban Kolsky, founder of thinkJar and a former Gartner analyst underlined the most popular fact in customer retention. He remarked that it was six to seven times more expensive to land a new customer than it was to retain an existing one. In an era where customer experience is all you need to deliver for customer retention, businesses have started getting serious about what they are offering besides their products and services.It is all of that which goes into making an exceptional customer experience.
It is all of that which goes into making an exceptional customer experience. Mystery shopping only serves as a precursor to delivering the right experience. It helps businesses see what they are doing right and where they could improve further. In terms of analyzing employees, businesses can set the right expectations where there is a gap in the business protocol.
Benefits of Mystery Shopping to Up the Customer Experience Ante
Research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company shows that increasing customer retention rates by a mere 5% can result in a 25% to 95% surge in profits. Therefore, any method that tells you about your own business processes and where they can be improved is worthy of consideration.
Here are several benefits of mystery shopping for retailers in this experience-obsessed consumer era-
Gauge the Sales Process
Mystery shoppers usually visit stores for the first time. Therefore, they will give you an opportunity to learn about how first-time customers perceive your business. Mystery shoppers are pros at providing feedback, and they will tell you how your customers view your sales process. Many companies consider these factors when taking decisive actions about their operations.
Measure Customer Satisfaction
Mystery shopping is a great way to measure all that usually goes unnoticed. Customer satisfaction is one of them. Make sure your business is not nudging your customers towards your competition. It does not take a lot to do that.
Check Employee Behavior
It matters if your staff attend to your customers proactively versus customers having to call out for assistance. Retail stores need to see how their staff interacts with customers, as it becomes the basis of customer experience.
After you have had hands-on with mystery shopping, you are in a better position to train your employees based on the mystery audits. This means you are now better equipped to impart training that has everything to do with the real-life customer experience and less to do with made-up numbers and statistics.
As mystery shopping helps you improve your operations and allows your employees to attend to your customers in a way your customers would appreciate, you invariably up your sales and drive better conversions from walk-ins.
Mystery Shopping Version 2 – AI based Mystery Audits
Since mystery shoppers may carry a bias against your store, beliefs that your customers would not necessarily share, or their own perceptions that are not generalized, mystery shopping inherently carries a bit of anomaly.
Therefore, we turn to technology. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-based mystery audits are a thing of the future. Here are some problems that arise while working with mystery shoppers-
- There is room for biases and personal opinions.
- It is difficult to manage multiple mystery audits if you have a multi-brand company.
- If you need to hire multiple mystery shoppers for all your stores, mystery shopping becomes a costly pursuit.
However, AI-based mystery audits can relieve you of all these pain points. You get-
- A comprehensive IoT based platform to monitor operations across multiple locations.
- Managed services to perform regular and timely audits through E-surveillance.
- Actionable insights on compliances, adherence to SOPs, response time, visitor count, mismanagement events, customer dwell time, conversion rate, etc.
- A provision to secure all data on cloud.
- Maximum conversions from walk-ins to buyers.
- Satisfied customers who come back for more.
- Insights into your employee behavior and actions.
The most crucial customer experience stats show us that 55% of customers are willing to pay more if a business can guarantee (and not promise) a good experience. Customer experience, in turn, boils down to how they feel buying from you.
Most businesses complain that they need more customers. When, in fact, they need their customers to return more often. AI-based mystery shopping is the key to improving traffic and conversion rates for retail outlets.
Improve your Bottom Line with AI Based Mystery Shopping
A Machine Learning based mystery audit system such as IoTMax by KocharTech can help improve your business intelligence. It allows you to tap into technology & gain awareness about several customers experience factors. Mystery shopping that outsmarts traditional ways is key to eliminate human error and leave no room for guesswork.
By integrating an IoT platform to your surveillance system, you can enable communication between connected devices, paving the way for smarter bias-free mystery shopping. Identify deviations from store protocol and take active steps to fix them with an IoT-enabled platform working by your side.