It’s pretty safe to say that the liquor industry is recession proof. Parties and holidays will always call for festive drinks; celebrations will always demand the pop of sparkling wine; bad days will often call for a beer to ease the pain. So how do you ensure that revelers will stop by your store for their libations?
You’d better be doing everything to lure them in and keep them shopping. When you hire a mystery shopping company, they’ll assign shoppers to come your store, sniff around, make a purchase and do everything that an ordinary customer would do. They’ll take a detailed report of their visit that outlines how your store looks and feels, and how well your employees are treating customers and attending to their needs.
- How does the store look on the inside and outside? Is it clean?
- Is signage helpful in navigating the store? Are prices clearly displayed?
- Are employees helpful? How long does it take them to greet customers?
- Is the store organized? (Can they find that craft beer they read about or the bottle of Malbec they’re thirsting for?)
- Are the aisles clean and free from spills and other messes?
And then, of course, there’s that sticky, tricky legal issue: Are your employees carding? Are they carding everyone who looks to be younger than 40? Failure to do so — and actually selling alcohol to a minor — can result in fines, license suspension, and even criminal charges.
In essence, these shoppers will be your eyes and ears when you can’t be in the store. (Because, of course, you can’t.) The information they collect can help you find your employees’ strengths and weaknesses; create or adapt your employee training programs; or even help better incentivize managers who make your job easier. Hire a mystery shopper and get on the road to being the toast of the town.