Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Taking the Mystery out of Mystery Shopping


When we think of Mystery Shopping, we think of having anonymous third party surveyors analysing the service levels of a Retail Store or Contact Centre, with the aim of reporting on service levels.

In many mystery shopping companies, the mystery shopper goes into the Retail Store, or contacts the Contact Centre, armed with a number of questions used to analyse the service. For example in Retail it could be ordering and eating a meal at a fast food restaurant, hiring a video, buying petrol or clothing and the service questions can range from the quality of the meal right to the cleanliness of the toilets. Did the staff member smile? Did they up sell? Were they wearing a name badge?

“The issue is everyone’s version of a good sales or service interaction is different”, says Peter Grist of Global Reviews. “At Global Reviews, we break these interactions down into a set of key sales and service behaviours that we can then assess objectively and repeatedly. We then help organisations understand what needs to be changed and ‘how to implement’ this change.”

Take for example call monitoring in your Contact Centre and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your call quality result around the magical 75%, which means people can all feel like they are doing OK and team leaders do not have to have too many challenging conversations?
  • Have you broken your sales/service process down to a level of behavioural detail that allows it to be assessed objectively?
  • Do your team leaders and call quality team have a consistent understanding of these behaviours?

“Too often, results are affected by lack of clarity around required behaviours. 75% is normally a pass rate in most contact centres, but compares to 50% when calibrated to Global Reviews analysis!” says Grist.

Some tips to avoid these issues:

  • Put in place a Sales/Service methodology that clearly identifies the behaviours required.
  • Develop Team Leaders to assess calls in line with this and hold them accountable for doing it.
  • Calibrate your team leaders using an external, objective benchmarking service
    The Benefits:
  • Your Team Leaders will be better coaches as they will understand the sales/service methodology better and do more observation.
  • The quality the Sales/Service interactions your people have with your customers will become more consistent and of higher quality.
  • You will receive an unbiased understanding of the real quality of your Sales and Service.
  • The benchmark results will allow you to compare your performance against other business units, competitors and other organisations in different industries.

Thanks to Anita and our friends at the Customer Contact Management Association for publishing this article.


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