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Mystery Shopping Best Practices


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When it comes to monitoring employee behaviors: service and sales behaviors that drive customer experience success, no tool is better suited for that objective than mystery shopping. Mystery shopping programs, when administered in accordance with certain mystery shopping best practices, not only test for the presence of service behaviors, but identify which sales and service behaviors matter most. This post describes best practices in mystery shopping.

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Mystery Shopping Best Practices

  1. 1. Kinesis CEM, LLC Mystery Shopping Best Practices Eric Larse is co-founder of Seattle-based Kinesis, which helps companies plan and execute their customer experience strategies. Mr. Larse can be reached at 206.285.2900 Mystery Shopping Best Practices
  2. 2. Several Tools are Available to Inspect or Monitor the Customer Experience However, No Tool Better than Mystery Shopping to Monitor Service and Sales Behaviors that Drive Customer Experience Success “You can expect what you inspect.” W. Edwards Deming
  3. 3. Best In Practice Mystery Shopping Identifies and Motivates Sales and Service Behaviors Which Matter Most Those Which Drive Purchase Intent Behaviors Which Matter the Most
  4. 4. Brand Customer Interface Brand Customer Defines Brand More than External Messaging
  5. 5. Behavioral Approach Brand Customer Mystery Shopping Measures Customer Experience from the Brand Side of the Interface Identify & Motivate Sales and Service Behaviors Which Drive Purchase Intent
  6. 6. Types of Mystery Shopping In Person Contact Center Internal Web Mobile Life Cycle Competitive
  7. 7. What Sales and Service Behaviors do You Expect from Employees? Define Objectives
  8. 8. Some of the questions you might ask yourself look like this: What specific service behaviors do we expect? When greeting a customer, what specific behaviors do we expect from staff? When meeting with customers after the greeting, what specific behaviors do we expect? If a phone interaction, what specific hold/transfer procedures do we expect (for example asking to be placed on hold, informing customer of the destination of the transfer)? Are there specific profiling questions we expect to be asked? – If so, what are they? What closing behaviors do you expect? How do you want employees to ask for the business? At the conclusion of the interaction, how do you want the employee to conclude the conversation or say goodbye? Are there specific follow-up behaviors that you expect, such as getting contact information, suggesting another appointment, or offering to call the customer? What other specific behaviors do we expect? Define Objectives
  9. 9. Map Expectations to Questionnaire Define Objectives
  10. 10. Keep it Simple Anticipate the Analysis What, How & Why Questionnaire Design
  11. 11. Objective Behaviors: Backbone of Best in Class Programs Measure & Motivate Expected Behaviors Key Driver Analysis Linked Behaviors to Purchase Intent Questionnaire Design
  12. 12. Subjective Impressions Rating Scales Qualitative & Quantitative Perspective Provide Means of Linking Sales and Service Behaviors to Desired Outcome (Purchase Intent) Questionnaire Design
  13. 13. Subjective Comments Why Shoppers Felt the Way They Did Qualitative Understanding of What the Shopper Felt as a Result of Customer Experience Content Analysis Determine Qualitative Drivers of Desired Outcome (Purchase Intent) Questionnaire Design
  14. 14. Anticipate The Analysis Questionnaire Design
  15. 15. Score = Pts Earned/Pts Possible Weight Behaviors Based On Importance – Importance Determined by Relationship to Purchase Intent Don’t Average Averages – Calculate Each Hierarchy’s Score Independently Scoring
  16. 16. What is a good mystery shop score? Consider Distribution of Shops a Whole Determine Percentile Rank of Each Shop Determine Which Percentile Rank is the Appropriate Standard Scoring
  17. 17. Maximum Possible Shop Distortion – A Measure of Shop Reliability Sample Plan 100% 50% 33% 25% 20% 17% 14% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Number of Shops/ Business Unit 3 Shops / Business Unit = Max ROI in Terms of Reliability
  18. 18. Obtain Buy-in From the Front-Line Provide Adequate Administration Provide a Fair Dispute Process Program Launch & Fielding
  19. 19. Build in Call to Action Elements Designed to Identify Key Sales & Service Behaviors Which Correlate to a Desired Customer Experience Outcome (Purchase Intent) Call to Action Analysis
  20. 20. Shoppers are Asked, How the Experience Influenced Their Purchase Intent Cross-Tabulating Positive and Negative Purchase Intent to Identify Experience Differences Between Positive and Negative Purchase Intent Yields a Ranking of the Importance of Each Behavior Call to Action Analysis
  21. 21. Follow-up Question Asking, Why the Shopper Rated Their Purchase Intent as They Did Responses Grouped & Classified into Similar Themes, and Cross- Tabulated by the Purchase Intent Produces a Qualitative Determination of What Sales & Service Practices Drive Purchase Intent Call to Action Analysis
  22. 22. Identify Which Behaviors Have the Highest Potential for ROI in Terms of Driving Purchase Intent Compare the Importance of Each Behavior to its Performance Importance Determined By Relationship to Purchase Intent Call to Action Analysis
  23. 23. Map Importance and Performance in a Quadrant Chart Identify Behaviors with Highest ROI Potential (Low Performance High Importance) Call to Action Analysis
  24. 24. Part of Balanced Score Card Coaching Taking Action
  25. 25. Maintain a Feedback Loop to Customer Expectations Ensure Behaviors Measured are Aligned with Customer Expectations Periodic Reviews to Keep Program Relevant and Useful Plan for Change
  26. 26. Data Collection is a Commodity Value Comes from a Partner Who Can Help Take Action on the Results Provider Selection