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Mystery Into Improving Service
know how essential it is that your employees provide excellent customer
service. But, unless you receive complaints, how can you tell if the
standards you've established are being met? (When company management
observes employees, you can bet they'll be on their best behavior.)
The answer? Mystery shoppers - trained researchers who pose as
customers and visit or call your locations on several occasions at
different times of the day - and different days of the week. These
interviewers visit or call retail stores, banks,
airline reservation agents, catalog merchandisers and more. They work
from a carefully developed script of actions, observations and
questions. Findings are carefully and discreetly recorded on
smart phones or paper forms.
Observations are made on a multitude of factors, including staff
knowledge, helpfulness and responsiveness. In a retail environment,
they're also looking for such things as product availability and store
layout and cleanliness.
Mystery shopping isn't merely used to counsel employees who dip below
expected service levels. It's used to change customer service
requirements and establish effective training programs - and later
measure the impact of these activities.
go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more
open. You're able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others,
without being crippled by your own judgment"- Ralph Marston
for a partner to help you hear your clients and customers more clearly?
Visit us online
to learn more about our proprietary tools and research solutions.
Just Listen- Watch
- and professionals - know that actions often speak louder than words.
Similarly, ethnographic research is based on the premise that studying
what people actually do, rather than what they say they do, can be
invaluable. And, when combined with other such research techniques as
focus groups or day-by-day diaries, what's learned can be downright
Ethnographic research is equally valuable in gaining insights into
"tried and true" product categories as it is to exploring the unspoken
needs of new market segments.
This technique requires an experienced interviewer. He or she observes
people's actions and interactions in any setting where products or
services are purchased or used - in the home or office, or when
shopping or driving. Then, an in-depth interview is conducted to probe
reasons for behaviors, activities, and interactions observed by the
Using this method, companies have come away with countless insights
that enhanced - or changed - their marketing efforts or product
designs. For instance, researchers have learned that many food
purchases are influenced by the family unit, not the primary shopper.
And that complex, sensitive, social and family values about death - and
how money is spent after the demise of a loved one - shape decisions
about life insurance purchases. Learning exactly how people actually
use and respond to existing and new products - from vacuum cleaners to
cutting-edge information technology products - enables companies to
market better to their target audiences. And, in many cases,
ethnographic research has uncovered product design flaws and safety
risks so products that people will actually use can be developed or
You can get fresh perspectives with far-reaching results through