As we turn the page to 2022, the topic of customer experience continues to gain steam. So many things have changed over the last couple of years, yet customer expectations remain at an all-time high. Research has shown that “about a third of consumers will leave a company after one bad interaction.” This piece published today by Inc. provides some recommendations on how to leverage feedback to your organization’s advantage – However, they leave out one big piece of the puzzle: mystery shopping!
When thinking about how to structure your mystery shopping program for maximum benefit, it is important to consider all of the ways that customers interact with your brand and your staff. We find that one of the most overlooked and underestimated touchpoints is the first stage of any customer journey mapping — the phone call experience.
From sales reps to independent contractors, nearly every vertical interacts with customers over the phone in some capacity and is often a point of emphasis on any customer feedback surveys. No matter what industry you’re in or what product/service you provide, you likely have a phone number (or multiple) that customers or potential customers can use to reach out to you to get their questions answered. With that in mind, you must have a plan to make your phone experiences pleasant for the person on the other end.
Phone shops are critical to ensure you are monitoring and measuring the complete customer experience, and secret shoppers are always more than willing to take on these shops when available to them. We strongly encourage adding phone shops to your program for several other reasons. Here are a few:
The last thing you want to worry about is additional expenses, but if it improves your customer experience, it’s worth it in the end. Luckily, there is no hefty price tag on these mystery shopping jobs, which makes adding this to your program a no-brainer. Since there is no travel component to a phone shop, we are able to keep our shopper reimbursement amount in the $5-$10 range, which typically results in a total per shop cost of $40-$60 (depending on the length of the template, length/complexity of call, etc.)
Easy to Set Up and Customize
One other important difference between in-person shops and phone shops is that it is much easier for shoppers to follow a script and keep detailed notes while carrying out a phone call. Because of this, we can establish 4-5 key questions to make sure that the shopper asks so that they can report back on how your team members answered those questions. Whether these scenarios are standard/typical or ‘curveballs’ for your staff, you can quickly and easily determine if these conversations are being carried out as expected or if there may be a training opportunity.
Additionally, we recommend setting up a variety of phone call scenarios and shopping on a consistent basis so that you can monitor the customer experience from all possible angles. Believe it or not, many customers’ purchase decisions may be heavily influenced by whether or not they had a pleasant experience on the phone with you, so being prepared for any situation can ultimately make or break whether or not you get a customer’s service.
Easy to Execute
One question we often hear in the sales process is how quickly we can get a program up and running. With in-person shops, the pool of shoppers for us to draw from is confined to the local area, so it can typically take a few weeks to build awareness and gain traction. The pool becomes much larger for phone shops, allowing us to find willing and qualified participants very quickly from a wide range of national mystery shoppers.
Audio Recording Option
Another significant advantage for phone shops is the ability to record them so that you can listen to yourself afterward. These recordings are attached right to the related report that comes through, so you can easily locate, compare and share them as you’d like. This feature is optional and can be included for just $5 per shop.
Don’t overlook the importance of measuring every customer touchpoint – Any interaction can be make-or-break for your brand. By mixing in some phone shops to your mystery shopping schedule, you can get out in front of issues before they become real problems.
360 Intel provides opportunities for mystery shops across multiple verticals, from retail stores to entertainment audits and so much more. If you are looking for advanced marketing research methods to improve your customer satisfaction, including through phone conversations and other customer touch points, get in touch with us today!