Secret shoppers. You’ve probably heard the term but do you know what they actually do? Mystery shoppers are essentially people you pay to “shop” and gather information that can otherwise be difficult to obtain. They then report their findings to help store owners and managers evaluate services at their business. One of the main reasons using secret shoppers is so effective is because of the anonymity involved with the process. Whether you’re using them to monitor your employees or your customers, no one has to know who the shopper is. They are trained to blend in and gather information conspicuously.
There are a variety of different tasks secret shoppers perform, but 3 of the most common are:
- Customer Service: Are you curious concerning what your staff is like when you’re not around? Chances are that they are doing a much better job when you’re in the store than when you’re not. Are they helpful towards customers? Are they just sitting around waiting or are they actively working and watching the store? Secret shoppers can help you evaluate customer service and sales so that you can use the information to improve the overall level of service in the store.
- Internal Theft: Do your profits match your sales, or is some merchandise sliding through the crack? You may have noticed that you’re missing cash or merchandise, but finding out why isn’t always easy. Mystery shoppers can monitor your store for evidence of theft and help you figure out if anything isn’t adding up when it comes to money and merchandise.
- Customer Monitoring: Neither you nor your employees can keep an eye on all your customers at once, and that’s where secret shoppers come in handy. When you’re too busy ringing up another customer, secret shoppers can monitor other customers. They may be able to catch a thief in progress, or their presence may help you decide that you need to hire another employee to help match the number of customers who need assistance.
If you’re worried about any of the above, secret shoppers may be the perfect solution for you. It’s always valuable to get third-party opinions and observations, and it’s no different when it comes to retail. Whether you use them to evaluate staff, customers or both, secret shoppers can help you gather information that will allow you to figure out if there are changes you need to make in order to help your business grow and become more successful.