Mystery Shopping services are becoming phenomenally popular especially in the Indian Retail market. The Retail market consists of both Retailers who sell their own products and those who sell products of international brands. Each one caters to a different segment in the society hence the Retailers need to constantly assess their business and their products. Many Indian Mystery Shopping companies are offering their services constantly to the Retailers helping them to establish or improvise their businesses. Some of the Key Benefits of Mystery Shopping for Retailers are:
First of all, a company needs to know where they stand in the market. They need to know how popular their brand is and how well their products or services are established in the market. Based on this analysis, the company can improvise on its products and services.
2.CHANGE IN PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:
Mystery shopping directly gives the consolidated opinion of customers towards a company’s products or services. Everyone needs a change some time or the other. Similarly, customers also would like to have some change or variation in the products that they buy. Audit reports from Mystery shoppers would give limelight to the company to understand if their customers are still looking for their products or going elsewhere to competitive brands due to boredom of seeing the same products.
3.QUALITY OF SERVICE
However good a product is, ultimately it depends on how well the product is sold to the customers. A company needs to know how well their customers are serviced in their branches or stores. Mystery shopping audits run at every store will give an exact picture of the quality of service rendered to the customers. Many loopholes concerning service can be found easily and rectified based on the Mystery shopping reports.
When we say ‘Customer service’, it directly relates to the staff’s behaviour and service to customers. Employers can get hands-on information about their staff’s performance towards the customers from all their branches. A Mystery shopping program would give the exact performance of staff to customer/s in their day-to-day business. This can help employers to reward their best staff and retrench those who are not required anymore.
When a Mystery shopping program helps a company to appreciate their excellent staff, it also helps to identify the ones who require training/re-training. Mystery audit reports help in understanding the quality of the staff. If the staff is very good, they can be trained for a higher position. Similarly, for the ones not so good, they can be re-trained too. This would maintain consistency in the quality of staff throughout the year.
6.ALERT FRAUDULENT SITUATIONS
Sometimes, employers would not be aware of certain fraudulent situations occurring in their stores due to non-trustworthy employees. This can easily be caught by Mystery shoppers and alerted. The company can take immediate action on those employees and avoid any further such fraudulent situations.
7.PEAK BUSINESS HOURS
This is a very important factor that benefits many service industries. A Mystery shopping program can give a good picture of the busy business hours for a company in their various branches all over the globe and whether their staff is able to handle the customers at that time. The company can organize better customer management plans for the staff based on the Mystery shopping reports.
The competition the Retail industry faces nowadays is very high. Retailers need to understand their competitors in the market well and get to know how they service their customers. There are Mystery shopping programs performed at competitor outlets too. The reports generated from this study are very useful for a company to re-design their strategies to out beat their competitors.
The top-level management in companies may overlook some important problems in the store-level functioning of businesses. Here, mystery audits can give them a good picture of the hands-on problems at the shop floor levels. This would help the top-level management to take corrective measures to rectify these issues.
10.NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH
The implementation of a Mystery shopping program after a new product launch is very vital for a company. Mystery audits would help the Retailers to understand how well their new product has been accepted by the customers in the market. In case, the new product is not selling well then, the reasons for the same also can be analyzed. Based on this study, the new product can be improved and increased as per customer’s demands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Managing Director, HS Brands Asia
Sanjeev Shenoy has 15+ years’ experience in mystery shopping and customer experience and has helped several global brands design and manage programs across Asia. As a post-graduate in Management, he has worked in Marketing & Operations across retail and food and beverage. As a believer in the beginners’ mindset, Sanjeev seeks to bring in innovation in the mystery shopping industry through technology and best practices from other industries.