Mystery shopping is essentially a mirror which reflects the reality of front-line customer interaction and how the company brand is interpreted by the customer. For small to medium sized businesses especially, building a brand can be difficult and takes a lot of time. There are many things that play into building a brand – everything from your logo, to your signage, to your employees’ uniforms. And, even more comes into consideration when you think about how your brand is created and interpreted in the minds of your customers. Employing a mystery shopping program can help you determine if your brand is being projected correctly.
Mystery shopping programs can help you discover a variety of things that would be incredibly difficult to find out on your own. For example, let’s say that your business has multiple locations. Building a strong brand image requires there to be consistency between all your locations in the appearance of your stores and in the attitudes of your staff. It may be difficult for you to determine if this is the case if you are working on your own. Deploying a mystery shopping program can provide the unbiased expertise you need to ensure your high standards are being met company-wide.
For example, a mystery shopping program can examine questions such as: Do the locations of your business look consistent from store to store? When a customer walks into one location then visits another at a later date, are they greeted with a welcoming, professional attitude each time? Do your employees across all locations dress in the appropriate uniforms and attire, and do they follow the same rules of decorum expected of all staff? A mystery shopping program can identify the answers to all of these questions, and more. And perhaps more importantly, a mystery shopping program will use questions like these, and a plethora of other questions, to determine if your brand standards are being met aesthetically in your stores as well as in the attitude of your staff.
If you are interested in measuring your brand image over time, consider employing a mystery shopping program on a yearly basis. The first step in this process would be to work with your mystery shopping program to identify what is successful about your business and what areas need work in order to increase sales. Then, on a yearly basis moving forward, the same things would be analyzed in order to measure improvement. As your mystery shopping program helps you build your brand, your sales will build as well.
A primary benefit of working with a mystery shopping program is that mystery shoppers see what you are not able to, and experience your business from the customer perspective. In order to build your brand, it is important to communicate with customers in the ways that work best for them. Mystery shopping can help you find ways to engage your target audience so that you can keep existing customers and find new audiences too.