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Five Things You’re Missing that a Mystery Shopper Can Find

It happens all the time: a business owner falls into a comfort zone running their business. It can be tough to see the big picture if you yourself are inside the frame — and how you see things may be completely different from how a customer sees them. Here are five things a mystery shopper can spot that you might not notice:

1) Bathrooms.

Sure, you put your employees in charge of changing the toilet paper and checking on the facilities every few hours. You trust them to keep your business’ most private areas spick and span, but how often do your employees REALLY go in there?

And…what are they actually doing when they do?

Right.

2) Smiles.

I’ve said this before: You need to train your employees — anyone who interacts with your customers professionally — to smile. As a manager, you get used to seeing your employees in all their many varying moods.

But how do your customers see them? Are they truly following your policy of leaving their personal issues at home and keeping a sunny disposition at all times? It can be tough to try to look at them the way customers do — mystery shoppers won’t have a problem doing this, because just super-trained customers.

3) Timeliness.

You’re busy. Running a business means time moves differently for you than it does your customers. Do you really know how long a customer’s transaction takes? Yes, you know how many steps there are in fulfilling an order, providing telephone customer service, but the fact is — your customers don’t particularly care. Are you giving your customers the most efficient service possible?

4) Customer service.

When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Of course your employees will be on their best behavior when you’re around! But things can get lax when you aren’t on the premises…or even when you’re in the back and thye’re up front.

Mystery shoppers can be the eyes and ears to give you insight into your employees’ attitudes and customer service skills when their manager isn’t watching with those hiring-and-firing eagle eyes. (And, hey! Just the possibility of being shopped may encourage them to be on their best behavior…)

5) Merchandising.

If you run a retail operation, it’s safe to assume that you’ve spent many hours painstakingly organizing your shop, from the layout to the arrangement of your merchandise. But even if it makes perfect sense to you, is it intuitive enough for your customers to find what they need quickly and painlessly? Does it make sense to them?