There is, of course, a fine line to be walked in clothing retail where customer service is concerned. And the idea of what constitutes a “successful shopping trip” is very subjective — some shoppers love a hands-on experience with an employee who waits on them hand and foot, brings suggestions to the fitting room and fawns over every outfit change, while others know what they want and will plow down anyone who tries to get in their way. Or speak to them.
Obviously, the customers that fall in between those two extremes are what you care most about — and establishing a regular mystery shopping program can help you understand how well you’re serving those customers. Essentially, a mystery shopping company will train shoppers to visit your store anonymously and mimic the actions of any normal customer, go through the motions and make a purchase, then they’ll compile a report that’s sent to you with everything you did right and things you can improve on.
Here are some things they might look for:
- Are the clothes neatly arranged, folded and displayed?
- Does signage correspond to merchandise that’s actually available and where it’s supposed to be?
- Are there enough sizes available for each item?
- Are fitting rooms well staffed and tidied up regularly?
- How’s the store temperature? (Really — have you ever tried on clothes in a hot store?)
- Are employees friendly and engaged?
- Do they smile?
- During checkout, do employees offer rewards programs, credit card deals, coupons, etc.?
Mystery shoppers can be your eyes and ears on the retail floor while you take care of business in the back room — or offer that something extra to the customers who need that. . . white-glove sales assistance.