Candace couldn’t wait to get the results from the first round of mystery shops. But now that she had the information in front of her – she became a bit overwhelmed. There was a lot of data!
Several months before, Candace had decided to spot check her three restaurant chain locations through mystery shopping. She wanted to be sure the standards she set were maintained when she was unable to be at there during each shift. She also wanted to know which of her staff delivered exemplary service.
Her chain was growing, and she needed strong, focused management to grow with her!
When designing Candace’s customer experience mystery shopping program, we identified several areas of customer interaction she wanted to measure.
Mystery shoppers were instructed to observe the reservation process, greeting and seating, cleanliness of the restaurant, service, food quality, and value for the price. Shops would be conducted twice each month at each location – once at lunch, once at dinner.
All these points of interaction must work together – and work together well – to ensure an exceptional dining experience at Candace’s restaurants.
Mystery shopping provides your organization with a LOT of good data.
Data to use for employee development, coaching, and human resources planning. It can also provide information to help improve operations and marketing.
Your mystery shopping provider will do a ton of the work for you on their end. Design your questions (with your input and approval, of course) and set up the program in their software. The mystery shopping provider also recruits, schedules, and trains mystery shoppers. Your reports are reviewed for quality and consistency. And you and your management team are trained on how to read and use your dashboard of data.
Mystery shopping providers can also provide executive summaries and suggestions for action steps.
But it is only you who can make those things happen!
But it’s what you do with the data derived from those shops is what matters the most!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen corporate managers glance at the results of their shops, acknowledge something needs to change, and then not do anything about it before the next round of shops!
3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Mystery Shopping Data
Schedule Time to Review Your Dashboard
How often do you want to shop is one of the first questions you are asked from a mystery shopping provider. If you are unsure, you will be guided based on our experiences with similar companies. We advise clients:
a. You will be overwhelmed with data.
b. Data will become addictive. You will be waiting like a puppy dog at the gate for the next round of completed shops.
Be sure to schedule time in your calendar to allow for complete review of the finding from the mystery shopping reports. I find Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner to be a huge help in keeping my vision on the bigger plan
Discuss with Staff
What is not shared, is not changed. You must address both the good and the bad with your staff for a mystery shopping program to be influential in a change in your organization. Most often our clients find their staff knows where the issues are – and have suggestions on how to make a procedure or an operation better. Open communication fosters the best of company cultures.
Implement Changes or Recognition
We believe form follows function. If you have taken the time to put a mystery shopping program in place, the ultimate function should be to identify those areas (or people) that need to be developed, tweaked, or applauded. Without attention to the processes and training that need to be changed, the mystery shopping program will lose value. Recognition of those ideas, people, or systems that make your organization thrive will fuel those ideas and people to continue to do well.
A well-designed mystery shopping program will allow your customer’s voice to be heard in the most objective way possible. It will provide you insight into the tiniest details that will make your customers’ experiences be the best they could possibly be with your organization.
Candace found her ability to ‘see’ what was happening when she was not at a location led to identifying employees who she could trust (and some she could not). Mystery shops provided her with information about which menu items were preferred, and could be suggested. And to change the hours when she was open in order to attract more of her ideal customer!
It was all in the data!
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Angela can show you how mystery shopping can help your bottom line! Contact her today to schedule a free consultation.