Mystery shopping turns out to be an effective tool for measuring sales performance, and customer satisfaction.
Retailers need to mull and adopt diverse strategies to survive the game. Driven by competition, retailers have realized that satisfying their customers is the key to win the business. They also need to keep abreast of the market conditions, and the strategies of their competitors. Apart from evaluating their competitors, significant self appraisal is also necessary. Mystery shopping is an efficient tool for evaluating the product quality, performance level, knowledge, attitude, and behavior of the sales staff.
Generally mystery shoppers are used for evaluating customer service efficiency. They visit the retail store and behave like any other normal customer, while they keep an eye on the happenings at the store. They take note of the maintenance, display, performance of the key frontline personnel, product knowledge and behavior of the staff, and the quality of their customer service. They observe how the sales staffs greet the customer, and how they interact with them. They are the remote eyes, and ears of the retailer. Sometimes, mystery shoppers are also used for observing the stores of the competitors.
Once the mystery shopper completes his assignment, he fills in a detailed questionnaire about the store, and submits it to the store owner. This data is used by the retailer to enhance his business such as; improving the store appearance, customer service, staff training, deciding on employee rewards and motivation. In stores abroad, retailers leave a message at the checkout stating that if the customer would call certain toll free numbers and answer a few simple questions about his or her shopping experience, they would be remunerated in cash or kind. Benefits may include a discount during their next purchase at the store. They can be known as amateur mystery shoppers. Through this method, the retailer gets to have feedback from diverse customers, and as this is attached with a benefit during the customer's next visit, it would also encourage multiple visits of the customer.