Shopping, especially retail therapy, is an emotional journey. Companies need to map out their retail experiences to match customer expectations because a disappointing turn of events can damage the relationship between a customer and the brand. Mystery shopping strategies have come of age to accommodate the needs of modern buyers. Leveraging data-driven simulation of the customer’s emotional response in using your brand, some of the best mystery auditors in India can help you improve the features and functions of the customer journey, whether it is in-store or online. Not surprisingly, mystery shopping services in India and mystery shopping techniques have also evolved with time.
Customer experience is the sum total of a hundred factors that include the ambience, the interaction with the staff, the infrastructure and facilities, the billing process and many more.
In recent years, smarter technology and software has been deployed to collect information in real-time. Using weighted average indexing processes, stores can translate the measures into an index that helps them benchmark the quality of execution at multiple locations. This offers companies a detailed subjective analysis of the overall customer experience.
Visibility is the key to success in retail. Shelf audits or visual merchandising audits have really picked up as they provide regular check-ups on stores to ensure they comply with the agreements made. These comprise both shelf audits and seasonal audits. Shelf audits ensure that the prices are compliant while seasonal audits help ensure that items used in the campaigns and promotions are displayed and priced accurately. Some of the leading mystery shopping services in India offer a detailed analysis of shelf audits along with recommendations for improvement.
Retailer recommendation audit is being increasingly leveraged by companies to verify if the retailer or store in question recommends their brand to the customers. This also offers insights into how the retailer sells your product in the market. Typically, the auditor or mystery shopper visits the store like a regular customer and observes the recommendations made by the retailer. When looking for a retailer recommendation audit, do your homework well and choose from the best mystery auditors in India.
Underage sales testing is a key component of mystery shopping worldwide. There are a number of services and goods that have restricted age-based access and to verify if a provider is compliant with age-restrictions. These mystery shopping services in India have become increasingly and are being used across supermarkets and convenience stores, hotels, clubs and pubs, cinemas and amusement parks. Young mystery shoppers are asked to visit the location to avail of an age-restricted service or purchase an age-restricted item. The mystery shoppers report back on their findings with full details of the server or description and whether the staff is proactively seeking identification when selling the restricted sale items.
Online mystery shoppers are the wizards of the eCommerce shopping experience. They help you determine and analyse the most important elements of your online customer shopping journey. These include chat features, contact forms, returns and replacement, shipping information or simply getting the right customer support either by email or phone. An online mystery shopper will review the most important touchpoints of your eCommerce store from website navigation to shopping app to security, product search and filters, omni-channel support etc. Testers simulate the entire shopping journey and share a detailed evaluation report along with timestamps for each activity.
Mystery shopping services in India now employ high-tech software and methods for capturing information. This not only helps in verifying information but also in standardizing the process and data. For instance, many companies now use geo-tracking to ensure that mystery shoppers are in fact at the location they are meant to be. Audit and QA reports are submitted using mobile applications resulting in a faster feedback loop. Improved reporting and analytics afford companies with actionable insights which they can use to enhance the experience.
Some of the best mystery auditors in India offer customisable and sophisticated dashboards which can be used to generate powerful insights. In fact, if you are in the market for a mystery shopper service, ask for a sample report. Certain mystery service providers would also provide online user portals where you can scan through mystery shopper assessments using dynamic widgets. In addition, many companies now offer video and audio files of the mystery shopper interactions that enhance the overall feedback mechanism and provide a more personalized look at the experience.
A key aspect of customer service is the level of attentiveness and support extended on the phone. Often, a potential customer calls ahead of visiting a location to choose between two competitors. Ultimately, their decision is based on the service they receive during the telephone enquiry. If the person answering their queries is polite, professional, friendly and well-informed, the potential customer is likely to convert. On the other hand, if they have an unpleasant experience on the call, they may conclude without receiving all the information they called about.
Best mystery auditors in India help companies gauge the level of telephone services extended by the staff. It is similar to an on-site mystery shopping evaluation. Once the calls are completed, the shoppers create a detailed report to outline their findings.
How does your product/service compare to your direct competitor? How do you price differently? Some of the best mystery auditors in India offer competitive mystery shopping. This helps you evaluate your competitors’ services, products and pricing. For competitor analysis, mystery shoppers are often unaware that they are undertaking a comparative exercise. It is also used as a stand-lone service to gain vital pieces of information. However, competitor intelligence gleaned from mystery shopping can help you to get specific insights and an understanding of where you stand in your segment.
Customer expectations have changed radically in recent years and to match their expectations in today’s highly competitive landscape, companies need laser-sharp insights and data. Mystery shopping is one of the most effective tools in the modern brand’s arsenal to gauge the important components of customer experience right from pricing to staff behaviour to the visibility of goods, and information access. However, the quality and integrity of the mystery shopping services in India is equally important to obtain accurate and meaningful results from this exercise.