People think mystery shopping is usually reserved for restaurants, clothing stores, and the occasional cell phone store or doctor’s office. But they don’t always think about how it can help their auto service center.
As a service center manager, you know how hard it is to keep up with everything: are your customers happy? Are you employees doing the job right? Are you getting repairs and jobs done on time? Are your employees upselling new oil filters and air filters, and other service? And — we’ll say it again because it’s that important — are your customers happy?
Mystery shopping can help you figure out what sorts of issues you’re having at your auto service center, where you’re exceeding all expectations, and where your customers would like you to do better.
In a mystery shopping visit, the shopper — who poses as a regular customer and does not announce himself or herself — will have service performed on their car. They will check the cleanliness of the waiting area and the restrooms. They will measure the speed at which their car was fixed. They’ll even report whether they were upsold, offered complimentary coffee, or anything else the national marketing manager wants to assess.
After the service has been completed, they’ll drive home and file their mystery shopping report. In some cases, the mystery shopping visit will include a video or audio recording, and they’ll send that along as well. At Measure CP, our shoppers use audio and video technology during their mystery shops, and clients have found it to be one of the most effective mystery shopping tools they have access to.
From there, the marketing manager, customer service manager, and anyone else involved in customer satisfaction will watch the video, read the report, and react accordingly. It may be a thank you note to your staff, it could be a checkmark on a report, or it could even result in more training for your employees.
If there are any areas of improvement for your auto service center, mystery shopping is going to be the best way to determine whether all your training and company policies are being followed, and if it’s making a positive difference to your customers’ happiness. We’ve worked with several clients in the service center and gas station industry, and found that mystery shopping to be one of the most effective tools in finding strengths and weaknesses in an auto service center’s customer satisfaction.