How Mystery Shopping Can Help Improve Your Customer Service
Customer Service has two aspects i.e., tangible aspect and intangible aspect. The tangible aspect includes more definite factors like the time it takes your staff members to answer calls from customers, the time your delivery people take in making deliveries, etc. The intangible aspect, on the other hand, includes rather abstract factors like your customers’ feelings about doing business with you.
If your actual delivery time is inconsistent with the delivery time you advertise, or your telephone lines are busy every time a customer calls your business establishment, there are major flaws in your customer service. And you need to fix these flaws before you start losing business to your competitors.
But you don’t need to worry much about the tangible factors of your customer service as these factors are somewhat measurable, though, at times doing so can be difficult. But it’s generally possible for you to keep track of the tangible aspect of your customer service. On the other hand, keeping track of the intangible aspect of your customer service can be a bit more difficult, as defining and measuring it is a bit tricky. That's so because the intangible factors depend greatly on what your customers expect from you in terms of customer service, for instance, if staff members at business establishments in your kind of business are notorious for unpleasant and you can somehow manage to keep members of your staff from being actually unpleasant, you might get an edge over your competitors by attracting more customers to your business establishment. On the contrary, if you raise the expectations of your customers by continually advertising about the great customer service your business establishment offers and then fail to provide the level of customer service you promised, you’ll end up with some seriously dissatisfied customers even though your competitors’ customer service is even worse. That’s because customers wouldn’t expect good customer service from your competitors as, unlike you, they did not claim to have good customer service.
How can good customer service make a difference?
In today’s highly competitive business world it’s extremely rare that your product or service greatly differs from that of your competitors. Getting a competitive edge over your competitors in most situations is tough, especially if you don't want to get into a price battle with your competitors. In such circumstances the best tool for outdoing your competition is good customer service. The level of customer service you provide is more important to most customers than other considerations like price, etc. It is surely a matter of common observation that business establishments that provide exceptional customer service are able to charge substantially higher prices than their competitors and maximize their profits manifold.
Nowadays, the business world is so competitive that when you introduce a product or service, you can bet on your competitor launching an identical product or service the very next day. But customer service is an entirely different matter; it’s not that easy for your competitors to copy your good customer service.
How can you keep track of your customer service?
It’s extremely important that you keep track of the tangible as well as the intangible aspect of your customer service. It’s crucial that you continually monitor and measure the trends in your customer service levels. But this is not as easy as it sounds. Most of your customers are not a very helpful source of hard objective management data required for such measurement and evaluation. Most customers are hesitant in filing formal complaints regarding poor customer service. Moreover, customers generally try to appear satisfied and happy with your customer service to avoid coming across as unpleasant, so it’s tough to know whether your customers are genuinely satisfied with your customer service or not. Your best choice in such circumstances is a good mystery shopper program.
Mystery shoppers can be of great help to you in collection of objective management data regarding your customer service. Mystery shoppers can also help in identifying trends in your customer service levels. If for some reason your customer service levels are deteriorating, you need to know before your customers notice and leave. Continually monitoring your customer service through mystery shoppers allows you to fix any flaws in your customer service as soon as they arise, which results in your customer service levels always remaining high.
How can mystery shoppers help you in gaining a competitive edge?
Mystery customers can also be used for evaluating the customer service levels of your competitors. Measuring and evaluating your competitors’ customer service enables you to benchmark your customer service against theirs. Doing so not only allows you to survive competition, but also gain an edge over your competitors.