If you want to gather feedback about your business which is more effective – customer surveys or mystery shoppers? Many businesses use customer surveys to gain information about how their companies could improve, but there are several reasons why mystery shoppers can be the more effective option.
They Are Honest
There is a reason why some people will answer, “Yes, everything is fine” in a restaurant when asked whether they are enjoying their food – even if they aren’t 100% happy with it. Some people don’t like to make complaints and feel uncomfortable bringing up issues. Perhaps they don’t want to be perceived as “fussy” or “negative,” especially if they are dining or shopping with others. They would rather quietly let it go and just not visit your business again.
This can be a problem, as it means that your customers could have complaints that you have no way of knowing about. The solution is a mystery shopper – as their job is to be honest about the areas in which your company is failing to provide the best possible customer experience. They will tell you the truth, so that you can take that information and use it to improve.
They Tell You The Good, Bad and Everything In Between
One of the problems with customer feedback is that people usually only give it when things have gone very wrong or occasionally when they have had a very good experience. This means that you will only get feedback from your happiest and unhappiest customers. This helps you to figure out your best strengths and your most serious weaknesses, but what about all of the areas in between?
There are probably many ways that your business could improve that make only a medium impact on the customer. However, all of these small adjustments really add up and make the difference between an average business and a very high quality business.
A mystery shopper will be able to report back to you on all of the potential ways that your business could improve, not just the most serious or obvious ones. They are customer satisfaction professionals, so they know what to look for and what to report on when it comes to improving your business. This is why mystery shopping agencies are such great tactical solutions for getting a competitive advantage for your business.
They Are Specific
Often when you get feedback from a customer survey it is too vague to be helpful. The customer might say something like, “the staff were rude.” However, this doesn’t give you much information to work with. In what way were they rude? What did they say that offended the customer? A customer might indicate that the wait time for being served was “reasonable” but a mystery shopper will tell you in minutes exactly how long the wait time was. You need to know more concrete information so that you can figure out how to solve the problem.
A mystery shopper will give you a detailed report on what went wrong so that you know exactly what you need to do to make things right.
You Can Ask for Clarification
Usually customer surveys are anonymous and once the feedback has been submitted you have no way of tracking down the customer who made the observation and finding out more information from them. However, when a mystery shopper makes a comment about your company you know who they are, so you can always contact them again and ask them to clarify what they mean. You can follow up on feedback they have given and even hire the same mystery shopper to come back again later so that they can evaluate the changes you have made.
These are just a few of the reasons why mystery shoppers can be much more accurate than customer surveys when it comes to collecting valuable information about how your business can improve. The right mystery shopping agency can be a very valuable resource for you and can help you figure out the best way to maximise the customer experience at your business. Of course, if you really want to do as much as possible to improve your business you might want to consider using both customer surveys and mystery shoppers – it can’t hurt!