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How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

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How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

To achieve success, ‘Plan to Perform’ is very important to design any Program for an organization. The companies have to plan appropriate and good Mystery Shopping programs before they are launched. Such successful programs become profitable for themselves for the companies to be in business. Hence, a successful Mystery Shopping program in which the ROI level reaches a high level due to effective strategies or excellent Management tools brings success and profit for any business. Let us see how this success and profit can be achieved.

1.Goal-oriented:

What is the main purpose to implement Mystery shopping services? This has to be determined by the brand first before chalking out any plan. For this, understanding the market is important. The brand’s current position in the market, their goals, and their competitors in the market. Once these aspects are determined, a clear goal-oriented Mystery shopping program can be sketched as per the brand’s requirements.

2.Understanding the customer:

Any Mystery Shopping program’s success is based on the brand’s customer experience. The brand’s customers need to be understood and analyzed properly. The way the brand deals with their customers, what are their current setbacks, and the exact requirements of the customers should be understood. Also, the program should not only increase customer satisfaction but as well as the number of customers for the brand.

3.Define Internal Mystery Shopping tactics:

Any Mystery Shopping program should choose an appropriate internal methodology to implement the program. For example, They can use in-store visits, online shoppers, or even phone calls. The choice should be based on the day-to-day running of the brand’s business. Some brands might have just one store but have a huge virtual business online. Here, using online Mystery Shoppers to check their efficiency is correct than sending in-store Shoppers.
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4.Create an effective survey tool:

To implement a Mystery Shopping program, we need to create an effective survey tool. We have to sit with the brand to understand how exactly the brand wants the Mystery Shoppers to observe. A proper questionnaire has to be designed with an appropriate number of questions that a Mystery Shopper can practically handle and which would provide all the data that the brand wants. Along with this, a video or audio recording of the audit can be introduced, and also important photos can be taken by the Mystery Shoppers. A well-designed questionnaire with correct scores set for each question would give a good analysis of the customer experience of the brand’s store/business.

5.Efficient Mystery Shoppers:

A correct analysis of the brand’s business and creating a good Mystery Shopping program are not sufficient to get perfect results. One very important part is hiring good Mystery Shoppers and providing appropriate training to them to bring in good results. The Mystery Shoppers have to be made to understand what exactly the brand wants them to find out during their audits. For this, a proper briefing needs to be given to the Mystery Shoppers about the brand’s business. Few online Certification tests can be given to them to ensure that they have studied the materials well and would remember the key points while carrying out their audits. It is advisable to send experienced Shoppers for an audit of premium brands so that the results are satisfying.

6.Cost-Effective Programs:

A brand would see how cost-effective the Mystery Shopping programs are apart from their requirements in their business. So, a Mystery Shopping program should be both qualitative and cost-effective. This only would be profitable for both, the brand and the Mystery Shopping company. The demographic locations to be visited by Mystery Shoppers, the Shoppers’ fees, any purchase visits to be made, etc., are to be calculated correctly to ensure that the brand is benefitted from the results. It should not end up being a huge costly Program for the brand.

7.Competitor Analysis:

After planning; executing a good Mystery Shopping program with efficient Mystery Shoppers does not end the whole research program. It is equally important to understand and view the brand’s competitors too. Audits to competitor stores/outlets can be included in the Mystery Shopping Program. This would give the brand a good picture of their competitors in the market which would be useful to design effective marketing strategies to better them.

"A good Mystery Shopping program with effective cost would be a profit by itself for the brand."

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

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How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

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+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

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Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

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Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary & Mystery Shopping for Benchmarking

We have already been familiarized with the concept of mystery shopping and its significance for Brands and Mystery Shoppers. If you haven’t read the previous article, please visit the following link(link to be inserted of the previous blog) to get acquainted with the upcoming topic. When we talk about Competitor benchmarking, we compare the products and services of one’s own brand vis-à-vis competitors.

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary & Mystery Shopping for Benchmarking

If you are a brand with a chain of stores, you probably will be operating in a very competitive market. To stay ahead in the race of competency, we have to analyse the competitor’s measures along with ours. Keeping in account how your store is performing and whether all the protocols and services listed are rendered or not is necessary. But using Mystery shopping for competitor benchmarking helps you identify their strengths and weaknesses. Getting to the weak point of a competitor and making it your strength can prove to be a boon if implemented properly.

How to achieve Competitor benchmarking?

1.HS Brands with its global reach and expertise for Brand refinement may help you achieve your goals.

2.No matter where your store is located, all throughout Asia, we have locals to handle the endeavour.

3.The mystery shoppers from HS Brands will visit your competitor’s shop and scan every nook and cranny.

4.All the aspects of the business from customer service to product displays will be scrutinized and audited. The final result will be carefully refined and presented at your disposal.

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The type of products, the people employed and the services deployed, change according to the regions. Knowing how to fathom these aspects within the diversity will be a major boom to the store and consequently your brand.
Know what is lacking for you, weak areas of them and ultimately improve yours for the better. Learn where you stand within the retail market and win the race of competency with HS Brands.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

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Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

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Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

Mystery Shopping and Retail Industry are very closely associated and go hand-in-hand. Retail Industry is a huge sector which comprises from an individual seller to small stores and also to huge businesses. They are the ones who reach their products or services directly to the customers globally. Hence, customer service plays an important role in the Retail Industry. In order to ensure a good customer service for a company, a Mystery Shopping program is the best one to be incorporated. Mystery Shopping is a process in which pre-recruited and qualified consumers measure the extent to which a customer’s interactions with a business mirror the experiences the business intends.

It offers a direct route for businesses to really look inside the customer experience they provide and truly gauge customer satisfaction. The Mystery Shopping program ensures that all the customer service benchmark is met and it also monitors the consistency between locations. Retailers can assess their products, sales, pricing, placements and promotions strategies are properly working, also if there is a room for improvement. Based on the feedbacks from Mystery Shopping programs, changes can be made by which retail businesses might see profit and sales increases. If staff performance is a concern within the business, adopting mystery shopping services can certainly help. Specific tasks can be included, such as asking for assistance from an employee or returning an item, allowing customers to assess how their issues were dealt with. The findings can help retailers establish whether certain staff members or whole teams need more training, require disciplinary action, or should be rewarded for their efforts.

Mystery Shopping programs offer a tailored approach, meaning retailers can decide what they want to be measured, providing a more in-depth analysis than customer satisfaction surveys. Mystery Shoppers are told prior what they are to look for and assess when they get in-store, and are provided with a pre-defined list of criteria to evaluate and pass onto the prospective third-party agency, which then analyses responses. In order for this strategy to work, retailers must have a clear picture of what they expect from the model customer experience. For instance, are members of staff expected to welcome customers upon entry into the store? Should they be handed a shopping basket? Do all customers require sales assistance? Determining expectations enables retailers to come up with suitable measurement criteria with the service provider, who helps design a tailored evaluation package to present to Mystery Shoppers of the store. This means that each retail business partaking in Mystery Shopping programs is given unique attention, ensuring the focus is only placed on the key philosophies that matter most to their business and which will help accomplish the best possible customer experience down the line.

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Some of the key points that enable the importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry:

  • 1.A company’s Brand recognition and establishment in the market.
  • 2.Understanding of customers’ expectations.
  • 3.Improvement in the customer service and customer satisfaction
  • 4.Maintenance of a steady increase in sales since customers’ demands are continuously met
  • 5.In-house employee morale would be maintained due to constant evaluation of their services in the day-to-day business.
  • 6.Recognition and Rewarding employees’ efficient performances thereby retaining them in the business.
  • 7.Organising appropriate Training programs for in-house staff whenever required.
    8.Launch or introduction of a new product in the market based on the analysis of customers’ requirements.

The information a Mystery Shopper provides can be utilised to review a businesses’ processes and practices pinpointing the things a business needs to improve on and the areas the business excels in.

By providing an unbiased customer response to their experience the information mystery shoppers provide can then be used to help the company improve what it does in the future and deliver more of what consumers want to receive. If Mystery Shopping programs become a regular occurrence, a level of accountability is established, and staff will put greater emphasis on their customer service skills. Moreover, consumers will benefit from a better in-store experience, which increases the chance of them making a purchase or returning in the future. Thus, Mystery Shopping is a powerful marketing tool which directly helps companies get better at what they do, which can translate into more sales and increased brand loyalty.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

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What is Mystery Shopping?

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What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery Shopping is a form of Market or Field Research. It is a method of conducting Ethnographic Research.

Mystery shopping is the process of measuring and recording specific elements of the customer experience using qualified, recruited consumers to work as Mystery Shoppers. Mystery Shopping recreates genuine, realistic shopping situations so the Mystery Shopper is perceived by the tested staff member as a “normal” shopper. Feedback is then taken through these ‘Mystery Shoppers’ and the company use it to evaluate how close is the actual experience of the customers to the desired one. It prompts the company to think about the areas it is lacking it and act upon them. It is a form of primary market research that uses quantitative techniques as the Mystery Shopper usually has to fill out a form rating his/her experience. While in person / on store check is the most widely used method, the mystery shopping exercise is also done through:

1.Telephone
2.Website and social media
3.Hidden audio / video recording

Though Mystery Shopping is more popular for restaurants and retail outlets, it is also done for numerous other services such as banks, apartment buildings, cell phone providers, car dealers, health care providers, movie theatres, resorts, etc.

Broadly, the technique is used for evaluating a company or one of its outlets internally. The specific aspects to be measured will be as per the client’s choice. For example, one of an apparel’s franchisee would wish to check:

1.Whether their store opens at the right time

2.Are customers being attended satisfactorily during peak hours too

3.Cleanliness of the store and general hygiene

4.Availability of all items as per customers’ choices

5.Courteousness of the staff members

The purpose of Mystery Shopping is NOT to get someone fired by catching them doing something wrong. It is not to give any one a free pass either. The sole aim of the exercise is to tell the company what they are doing right or wrong and how they can improve, to simply tell them what happened as it happened. A true picture of their performance internally and externally are presented to them so that they can improvise on the required areas.

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Importance of Mystery Shopping:

A company interested in a Mystery Shopping Program wants to identify what works or what does not work in their business. Each company focuses on different topics: up-selling, uncovering improvement areas, and general approach among other topics. The results help the company decipher what areas need improvement. A report is sent to the client after each visit is performed, which may be read by different people including staff members at the tested location and managers at the company headquarters. A good Mystery Shopping program lets you determine which locations are current or possible problems, and provide feedback on how to improve customer service there. Just as you measure and maintain the machine, Mystery Shopping can act as a preventive customer service.

A store manager keeps a vigil on his employees while they deal with the customers in person and over the phone. This often makes the employees nervous and they become inadvertent under pressure. Instead, a mystery shopper brings out the true picture of the employees as they perform naturally. This helps to locate the fault and the drawbacks of each and every employee perfectly which subsequently helps in improving customer satisfaction. Sometimes the customers inquire about the products over the phone before coming to the store. In this situation, the employee’s ability to converse with them over the phone, in order to convert the caller into a potential customer, matters the most. To locate the faults of the employee, some fake calls are required, and only a professional mystery shopper can do it. A store can avail the same kind of services provided by the companies for the product distribution and marketing. Mystery shoppers are hired by the companies to find out what the customers think about the new product that hits the market.

Hence, Mystery shopping is definitely an effective tool to gain insight into the customer needs and improve in areas where a company is lacking. It also helps in checking the employees’ morality and effectiveness. However, a challenge with this technique is maintaining mystery shopper quality and integrity.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

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10 Benefits of Mystery Shopping for Retailers are:

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10 Key Benefits of Mystery Shopping for Retailers are:

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:

1.CURRENT POSITION:

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.

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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.

4.STAFF PERFORMANCE

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.

5.STAFF TRAINING

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.

8.COMPETITOR MARKET

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.

9.INTERNAL SOPs

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

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

About Us

Industries

Services

Blogs

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10 Tips to improve your Grocery store Customer Experience:

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10 Tips to improve your Grocery store Customer Experience:

The highest populated/crowded place in any country can be found in the Grocery stores or the Convenience stores. In a country like India taking into consideration the huge population, these stores need to adapt to the best retail practices throughout the year. So, customer satisfaction and support to customers are kept as a high priority here. From the store’s ambiance to the bill payment desk, the whole process has to run smoothly in a Grocery store set up. How well the customer experience management should be implemented? The answers to these questions can be found with the help of good Mystery Shopping programs. Evaluations from Mystery Shoppers give invaluable information to Grocery stores and tips for improvement in the areas they are lacking.

 

Read below 10 Tips to improve your Grocery store Customer Experience:

1.The first look and the ambiance:

It is said that ‘The First impression is the best impression’. This matters a lot in the Groceries and Convenience stores. What the customer sees upon entry into the store makes him/her stay in the store to shop. A Mystery Shopper who behaves like any other customer can provide good feedback about the first look and the ambiance of the whole store.

2.Cleanliness inside:

It is important that the store is maintained well and kept hygienic throughout the day because there is always a continuous in-flow of customers in these stores. Mystery audits can be done at different timings to check if the store is being cleaned by the staff at all times. Unclean floors, rotten fruits/vegetables, dirty shelves, etc., could easily discourage the customers to shop in the store.

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3.Availability of shopping carts:

Often, we observe that shopping carts are not easily available for various reasons. This can make customers leave the stores from the entrance itself. A Mystery shopper can evaluate easily if the stores are keeping sufficient shopping carts and are easily accessible to customers. Also, whether there are any stray shopping carts left in the parking lot.

4.Display boards:

Display boards are very important for customers to guide them to the products that they are interested to purchase. Proper signboards, correct price boards, and discounts if any, are to be displayed at the right places in the store. Mystery shoppers check this aspect and also provide photos if display boards are missing in any part of the store.

5.Arrangement of products:

The shelves in these stores have to be well-stacked with enough products so that customers can buy sufficient products and are easily accessible. The staff has to ensure that out-of-date products are removed and replaced with fresh stocks. Also, that there are no racks kept empty. This can be easily evaluated by Mystery shoppers with the help of photos. The stores would benefit from such information from the Mystery shopping evaluation.

6.Special offers or Discounts:

One of the popular ways to attract customers is to alert them of special offers or discounts going on for any product/s in the stores. A Mystery shopper would check if these boards are placed prominently for customers to view and whether they are kept at the appropriate product shelves.

7.Staff Behaviour:

These stores are mostly self-help stores and not much assistance is required from any staff for the customers. Even then, some staff should be around to help or guide the customers when they need assistance. In Mystery shopping programs, the Mystery shopper purposefully looks for help to check if the staffs provide help, are well-groomed and courteous in their behaviour.

8.Billing process:

The place where most customers get frustrated is the billing counter. Either there are long queues or unpleasant staff at the counter, especially in the peak business hours. Lots of Mystery Shopping programs have helped in this evaluation. Mystery shoppers visit these stores at peak hours to check if the billing process happens smoothly and how the staff manages the crowd. Do the staff open fresh counters to manage the crowd? How courteous the billing staffs are towards the customers? If the purchased products are nicely bagged? These aspects are easily determined by Mystery shoppers and the stores can make improvement plans for better management of the billing process.

9.Customer feedbacks:

Some stores employ staff to get feedback from customers about their shopping experiences. Even feedback forms are provided to customers to fill up in some stores. A Mystery shopper can easily check if this practice is being properly followed by the staff.

10.Free Coupons:

The best way to catch customers is to encourage them to visit the stores again and again. For this, some stores adapt to giving free coupons or food vouchers to their customers. Implementing Mystery shopping programs can confirm if these free coupons are being provided to customers and the customers’ responses to these free offers.

11.End process:

Some senior citizens or physically challenged customers might need help with their shopping carts after the billing process. The stores would need to know if their staff is helping these customers by pushing their shopping carts to the parking lot and loading the purchased items into their vehicles. For this, Mystery shopping audits can give a good picture of the same.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

About Us

Industries

Services

Blogs

Contact Us

10 Tips to build an effective-customer experience cx strategy

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10 Tips to build an effective-customer experience cx strategy

We have talked about Customer Experience Management in our Services page:

Here, let us see how to build effective strategies for customers to have a meaningful and positive experience with companies and their products/services. A Customer Experience Strategy is a compilation of a set of plans, actions taken to execute the plans, and guidelines created to maintain an effective customer experience. For a company to have a successful CX strategy, it has to start from the time a customer knows about the company until the customer keeps coming to the same company for products or services. So, the company has to ensure that their customer’s experience is effective in this entire journey.

When it comes to the Indian market, Customer Experience Management is a huge platform to handle. Since we have both Indian and International products/services competing in our market, it becomes very vital for the companies to satisfy and retain their Indian customers throughout the year.  

We have listed about 10 tips to build an Effective Customer Experience (CX) Strategy:

1.An organized Customer Care department:

It is important to have a well-planned Customer Care department executed as soon as a product/service is launched by a company. The employees need to understand that customer is the one who makes a product/service successful or unsuccessful.

2:Know your customers:

A company has to identify its customers first before providing any service to the customers. A good survey or a good Mystery shopping program could help a company to understand their type of customers. Once this is done, the customers can be approached for further communications.

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3.Empathy to customers:

Empathizing with customers when they approach a company with any issue strengthens the bond between the company and the customers. When immediate action is taken or a polite reply is given, it helps in building customer relationships in the long run.

4.Continous customer experience mapping:

There must be a continuous survey of customers’ likes and dislikes and the data from such surveys should reach all levels of the employees. This could result in a lot of innovative ideas coming in from the employees to satisfy the customers.

5.Team development:

Providing data to the employees from the survey alone is not sufficient. There has to be re-training or re-educating the employees based on the results of the surveys conducted.

6.Easy and User-friendly platforms:

The digital platform provided to the customers should first of all be easy and user-friendly. Only then, the customers would like to use these platforms for their queries or feedback. This has become even more essential especially in these Covid times since customers cannot visit the stores for their regular needs.

7.Social media reviews:

To get reviews from customers faster, social media is a good platform to use. Platforms like Facebook or Instagram can result in a lot of reviews from a big group of customers. From this, happy and unhappy customers could be found which might help the management to make good decisions.

8.Excellent Interactive tools:

Creating very good interactive tools can help in getting real-time feedback from customers. These tools launched on the company’s websites can help in catering to customers’ demands quickly and also resolving their issues without wasting much time.

9.Pandemic era:

During this current pandemic era, customer service has become the heart of any business. Reaching to the old and new customers, catering to their demands and offering them great service is the most important activity for any company.

10.Good ROI metrics:

A company has to regularly be aware of its investments in the products or services and its customers’ satisfaction levels. For this, a good Return on Investment metrics tool is very essential. The numerical representation gives a good analysis for the employees to understand their customer experience management. The top-level management team can also implement new strategies based on the results of this tool.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

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How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

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How to Build a Scalable Competitive Intelligence Strategy.

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How to Build a Scalable Competitive Intelligence Strategy?

Competitive Intelligence is one of the most essential and useful aspects which helps management to make scalable business plans. Companies need to know how their competitors perform in the market and what are their strategies. This allows the companies to see themselves with clearer insights, understand what they are doing successfully and what keeps them from lagging behind their competitors. To get such information, companies need to implement good market research plans and use top external sources. This would help them to perform competitively against their rivals and make effective futuristic strategies.

First of all, let us see how companies can collect data and vital information about their competitors:

1.Good Market Research plans:

Implementation of good Mystery Shopping programs or a detailed survey conducted through market research or interviews would benefit abundantly. From these sources, companies can get to know about their competitor’s products or services and their functioning in the market.

2.Social Media:

Sharing one’s brand in competition with their competitor’s brand on the social platform can give honest and unfiltered feedback from the customers. Keeping track of the competitor’s social profiles can provide information about their latest developments, collaborations, messaging, and events that they are participating in or sponsoring. These insights can be used for planning strategies.

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3.Competitors’ websites:

Websites are an open book and an open door to know about the history of a company. Studying the competitors’ websites can give a good amount of information about their products or services, geographical setups, latest news, future strategies, etc.

4.Information from Databases:

Not all information can be acquired from websites or social media platforms. Hence, using some paid Databases like Capital IQ or Factiva could be helpful in acquiring in-depth information on companies, products or services, innovations, investments, etc.

5.Annual Reports:

Going through Annual Reports of the competitors , companies can give a complete view of their financial growth, business strategies, revenues, employee numbers, and so on. This is very important information to acquire for making Competitive Intelligence Strategies.

Once a good amount of information is collected from different sources, companies can sit and plan their business strategies. All these analyst reports offer an overview of a company’s focus market, including the key players in the industry, how they differentiate themselves, and how their services map with the market needs, providing greater clarity of
their competitive landscape

“A continuous, timely and accurate Competitive Intelligence is the best practice to find out the best strategic opportunities for successful business growth.”

 

 

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

About Us

Industries

Services

Blogs

Contact Us

5 Things to keep in mind while selecting a Mystery Shopping Agency for your business

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5 Things to keep in mind while selecting a
Mystery Shopping Agency for your business

We have stated sufficiently in the previous blogs the importance of implementing Mystery Shopping programs for businesses. Conducting Mystery Shopping programs is a necessity especially in the Retail industry. It is important to understand for every organization to see where they stand in the market, how satisfied are the customers with their products or services, and how they are performing compared to their competitors. If these aspects are determined, then any new changes or necessary steps can be incorporated for their business development.

 Mystery Shopping companies in the market provide these services. Hence, choosing an appropriate Mystery Shopping Agency for a business is quite confusing and challenging. In order to select a correct Mystery Shopping Agency, here are few tips to keep in mind:

1.Reputed Mystery Shopping Agency

It is important to find out the reputation of the Mystery Shopping company that we are hiring. Their client list should be checked and the kind of industries that they have serviced. In case we are running a hotel industry then we need to hire that Mystery Shopping company who has carried out audits in the food businesses. Also, we need to find out the reputation that the Mystery Shopping company is having in the market so that we get useful feedback from their audits. 

2.Hiring Mystery Shoppers

We have to ensure that the Mystery Shopping company that we choose sets a high standard while hiring their Mystery Shoppers to perform the audits. Before choosing their Mystery Shoppers, these companies should set certain standards like clearing qualification certificates, a good knowledge of brands, observation capabilities, etc. Only if good Mystery Shoppers are hired, the reports generated from these Shoppers would be authentic and useful for our business. Hence, we have to find out how the Mystery Shopping companies select their Mystery Shoppers.

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3.Geographical location

Before choosing a Mystery Shopping Agency to perform audits for us, we have to first decide the store locations in which we want the audits to be carried out. For example, we might have some stores geographically located in remote areas wherein the Mystery Shopping Agency may not have Shoppers to audit in those areas. So, it is very important to confirm upfront with the Mystery Shopping Agency if they have a wide range of trustworthy Mystery Shoppers located in remote areas to perform the audits for us.

2.Hiring Mystery Shoppers

4.A company has to ensure that the Data and Reports collected from the Mystery Shopping Programs are authentic. For this, they have to check if trustworthy Mystery Shoppers are sent for audits and the same Shoppers are not sent frequently to the same stores. This would lead to repetitive or redundant information. The success rate of the Mystery Shopping company in the market can also be verified before they are hired.

4.Unique and Customized Program

The Mystery Shopping company that we hire should have an organized Client servicing Managers who can discuss and find out exactly what information we require from their audits. Accordingly, they have to chart a unique and customized program for us consisting of appropriate questions to fulfill all our objectives. There must be no place for redundancies and the complete program should be supervised by the in-house team efficiently.

5.Effective Feedback System

Merely carrying out Mystery Shopping audits is not sufficient for a Mystery Shopping company. They should have an in-house experts’ team who collect the reports, scrutinize them, and provide effective feedback. Data can be presented to the clients in the form of written reports and statistical analysis. It should be real-time data, and it is also important as to how soon data can be provided to the clients. Hence, we have to choose such a Mystery Shopping Agency who can provide effective feedback which helps us to take important future business decisions.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

About Us

Industries

Services

Blogs

Contact Us

How To Improve ROI Of Your Mystery Shopping Program?

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How to improve ROI of your Mystery Shopping Program?

ROI (Return on Investment) is a numerical representation of a company’s customer experience management. It is an essential tool that top-level management in a company uses to implement its strategies.When a company uses the services of Mystery Shopping programs, it is not sufficient just to understand the company’s position in the market with customers or in comparison to their competitors. It is equally important to be mindful of the financial returns from their investments in their products or services and their customers’ satisfaction levels. They need appropriate statistical analysis data to understand if the implemented Mystery Shopping Programs are beneficial to the growth of their businesses. Here are few points to improve the ROI of your Mystery Shopping Program:

1.In a vast country like India, measurement of the effectiveness of products or services is a definite requirement. A proper measurement method or statistical tool has to be designed with which the sales of the products, employees’ efficiency, customers’ interests, etc., can be determined. Frequent numerical data results would help the top management to understand their current position and work on their future market plans.

2.Before hiring the services of a Mystery Shopping company, you have to first understand and focus on your key areas like the specific stores, your products or services, your competitor stores, and so on. Based on this, you can sit with the Mystery Shopping company and chalk out a program that would help in getting the required results.

3.Designing your Questionnaire according to your brand standards is another key factor to conduct Mystery Shopping programs. It is important to create an objective Questionnaire probably with more Yes/No questions which would give a realistic observation from the Mystery Shoppers. Unnecessary questions are to be avoided since they might detour from the factual information. Repetitive testing with the Questionnaire is mandatory to get a periodical analysis.

4.A company has to ensure that the Data and Reports collected from the Mystery Shopping Programs are authentic. For this, they have to check if trustworthy Mystery Shoppers are sent for audits and the same Shoppers are not sent frequently to the same stores. This would lead to repetitive or redundant information. The success rate of the Mystery Shopping company in the market can also be verified before they are hired.

5.It is important to combine the Mystery Shopping program or consumer satisfaction results with standard financial metrics. A company has to view its financial outcome from every location’s audit results. This would give the company an analysis of the highest ROI from each location. Also, this statistical data can help the top management to change or continue their business strategies both location-wise and store-wise.

6.Finally, the employees of a company have to be kept in the loop while conducting such Mystery Shopping Programs. They have to be made to understand the importance of achieving a 100% shop score and how beneficial this would be for both i.e., the business and the employees. When employees are motivated, their performance would also improve thus resulting in the overall productivity of the business and customer service.

In conclusion, having a clear periodical blueprint of ROI with important factors from Mystery Shopping Programs would benefit a company to have better customer satisfaction and a profitable revenue in the business.

aBOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjeev Shenoy

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.

Share this article on

How to design a mystery shopping program that pays for itself?

Why is Competitor Benchmarking Necessary?

Importance of Mystery Shopping for Retail Industry

We provide innovative strategies to ensure comprehensive solutions to various business challenges. We protect favorite brands around the globe, serving many industries including, hospitality, food service, retail, automotive and many more.

Contact Us

Bangalore, India

+91-8910018597

contactus@hbrandsasia.com

Monday - Friday ,10am - 6pm

HS Brands Asia

About Us

Industries

Services

Blogs

Contact Us