How to Use Mystery Shoppers for the Benefit of Your Business

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Chances are that if you’ve worked in retail or a sales-based job in any capacity for a number of years, you’ve most likely heard the term “mystery shopper” being thrown around by upper management. You may have even encountered a few mystery shoppers yourself without even realizing it. Evaluating your own business from an outsider’s perspective is imperative to finding flaws—even minor ones—within your organization and figuring out how to make appropriate improvements. But this is a complex, time-consuming, data-driven task that a lot of business owners simply don’t have time for, which is why it so often gets neglected.

In the digital and post-pandemic age, mystery shopping has become a more valuable resource than ever because it helps organizations better understand the perspectives of their customers. The main difference now is that a lot of shopping and customer service takes place either online or over the phone. Hence, mystery shopping services in Canada are now also providing mystery shopping calls to test the quality and accuracy of customer service agents.

Hiring mystery shopping services in Canada such as 3C Contact Services can help you create a feasible value-driven scorecard for your business and analyze your results efficiently and effectively.

What Is Mystery Calling?

Mystery shopping or calling services are a lot like going undercover to evaluate the services offered by your own business. Based on a list of custom criteria for your business, mystery shoppers act like real customers and then provide performance and expectation-based reviews regarding the service they received from your organization. This can be an all-encompassing experience-based review or it can be narrowed down to specific employees, departments, products, or services.

The point of mystery shopping or calling is to help your business identify its shortcomings and offer valuable insight in regards to probable solutions.

Mystery Calling Service in Canada

Mystery calling or shopping is an essential aspect of any customer-facing business because it gives you the ability to conduct firsthand market research. By putting a proxy in the shoes of your regular customers, you can gain valuable insight into how customers perceive your business based on how they’re treated and whether or not their issues are resolved. In the business world, this is called Voice of the Customer (VOC), wherein customers are allowed to offer anonymous feedback.

In addition to identifying potential problem areas, telephone mystery shoppers also help you stay competitive in your industry by constantly offering suggestions for service quality improvements from a customer’s perspective.

Mystery Shopper and Caller Benefits

Hiring a mystery calling service to evaluate your business from a customer’s point of view gives you firsthand knowledge of how your organization is perceived. It also gives you insight into specific product, service, and employee performance and how these can be leveraged to better serve your company as a whole. Benefits of hiring mystery shoppers and callers include:

Accurate Analysis of Call Center Service

To provide the most accurate account of their call center service experience, mystery shoppers typically evaluate the following factors:

  • Representative’s tone of voice. Are they professional? Do they sound sympathetic to the needs of your customer?
  • Sales skills. How much product and service knowledge do they have? Are they able to convince customers to purchase certain products or do they sound too desperate?
  • Temperament. Do they sound polite and friendly on the phone or do they speak with a monotonous, sarcastic tone?
  • Ability to diffuse high-stress situations. Are they good at calming irate or irritated customers down? Can they keep their cool in the face of adversity to solve the customer’s problem?

All of these factors are considered during the interaction. Afterwards, the mystery shopper will complete a detailed survey regarding their experience with your representative in which they’ll indicate their level of satisfaction among other things.

Identifying Areas of Improvement and Feasible Solutions

Based on these analytical reports, you can work on making the necessary improvements to your customer service approach. Whether that means providing additional training to employees as needed or updating certain policies, it’s important to perform numerous customer service evaluations throughout the year and make data-driven adjustments along the way.

The information you collect from a series of mystery caller or shopper reports should help you determine what types of changes you can and should make to improve your overall customer experience.

Testing Product Knowledge and Service Quality

One of the great things about being a customer service agent over the phone or via email is that you have endless resources available to help you find whatever information you need to provide to your customers in the moment. Mystery shoppers and callers will ask for information about various products and services your organization offers. Representatives should be able to provide accurate answers in a relatively efficient manner. The point of mystery shopping isn’t to put your employees on the spot or make them anxious. It’s to improve their customer service skills and guarantee that even if they don’t have all the answers, they’re working hard to get them.

Pinpointing Customer Service Loopholes

Failing to measure customer service performance means that some customers could easily fall through the cracks, which is the last thing you want to happen. Customer retention is a key contributor to the overall success and longevity of your business. That means you should do everything you can to create and nurture loyal customers who have been supporting your business for a long time.

Conducting Employee Assessments

Your business is only as good as the employees that work for you. Unfortunately, the underperformance of some employees could be holding back the rest of your business. All it takes is one bad experience for a customer to become irate and abandon your business or worse, go straight into the open arms of your competitors. Mystery shopping and calling provides in-depth performance reviews of each customer service interaction to indicate where further training is required.

Mystery Shopping and Business Evaluation Services

3C Contact Services can create customized business evaluation scorecards that tick off all of the major customer service boxes for your organization. Additionally, our skilled customer service agents can also act as mystery shoppers or callers on your behalf and perform detailed evaluations regarding their experiences. Contact us today to learn more about our business evaluation and mystery caller service!