I guess you’ve heard of mystery shopper programs or mystery guest audits. Today, a mystery shopper audit is one of the most effective active listening techniques.
This is a really reliable method to find out if customers have a true quality experience with a particular brand.
All companies (large ones, SMEs or startups) talk about “listening to the voice of the customer“. However, listening to your customers is not the same as understanding what they say.
How you listen, and to whom you listen, is crucial. Even a well-organized business can be led astray by misunderstanding the strengths and weaknesses of different client feedback channels.
“The key lies in the maximum customer orientation. That’s to say, in learning how to listen. Or, in understanding what their needs and demands are. If we understand what our customers want through an active listening, we will be able to give them a quick, targeted solution to their particular problem”, César Mariel, CEO of Iristrace, says.
What are the different communication channels with customers?
1. Satisfaction surveys
Satisfaction surveys have been, so far, an effective method of listening. But, it seems to be in disuse. If clients are sincere when answering questions, we will find out if we are attending them properly. Yet, every day we are more and more reluctant to answer an opinion poll.
2. Comments on our social networks
It is imperative to review the comments and ratings that customers post on social media about their experience. And preventing an online reputation crisis will always be easier than extinguish a uncontrolled fire. So, in order for that not to happen, we will need a person responsible for monitoring social media 24 hours a day.
3. Mystery shopper programs
Mystery shopping programs are not just, as we said, one of the most effective active listening techniques. It is also one of the most reliable tools to know in detail how the customer experience with our brand is.
In fact, it makes it possible to find out the real quality we offer through an ‘incognito’ inspection. A mystery audit performed by a shopper at the store or shop we want to audit through a checklist online.
That means: answering a list of questions, known as a mystery shopper checklist, whose content you will be able to customize depending on what you want to audit.
Mystery Shopper programs used by car dealers
In a car dealership, for example, a mystery shopper checklist might contain questions about outdoor and indoor areas as well as the car selling process. Questions that will vary according to what the brand wants to audit:
- Are there brand signs and panels displayed at the entrance? Yes/No
- Indicate in red on the planogram where fire extinguishers are placed
- Which models are on display in the showroom?
- When arriving, staff welcomed me with a warm smile. Yes/No
- I had been waiting for more than 5 minutes until I was attended. Yes/No
- Did somebody offer me something to drink while waiting to be attended to? Yes/No
- Did the seller set some of the following points? Yes/No
Mystery shopper audits are, indeed, one of the best techniques to assess the efficiency and service quality provided. That is, a communication channel that allows us not only to hear the customer’s voice, but also to understand it.
Designing your own mystery shopper checklists with the Iristrace app will allow you to discover the true experience that customers have with your brand.
That’s to say, you will be able to know if brand car sellers attend properly in every single car dealership you manage. If they inform customers about offers. Or, if they explain in detail car features. Even, if they give information about the company’s data protection policy.