General customer service levels & product fulfillment - by setting up fictitious accounts or companies, our trained mystery shoppers can contact your business via telephone or email to make inquiries about your products/services. By doing this, you will gain a better understanding of how your potential customers are treated, the information that is shared with prospective customers, and what follow up, if any, is completed in order to attain a new client.
Furthermore, fictitious accounts and companies can be created to pose as current customers to evaluate the service ordering process. From here, you can see if your employees are attempting to upsell/cross sell, offering additional products/services that are important to your customers, and the general service levels provided.
Branding presence - through mystery shopping, you will determine how your branding is portrayed to other companies. This is important in gaining customer loyalty and longevity. Studies have shown that strong branding will encourage customers to be loyal to the product, be less likely to seek out competing brands, and not be adverse to pricing increases.
Online interactions/email inquiries - with the shift in online technology, more and more companies will seek information through email inquiries versus picking up a phone. One company utilized a mystery shopping program in which shoppers posed as companies who were seeking services and wanted to find out more information. They wanted to see how long it took for emails to be answered, if the answers were fully provided, and if any type of follow up was conducted.
Training and sales development - it is vital that the sales team presents information in a clear, engaging manner, builds rapport with potential clients, and conducts the sales calls in a manner in which sales can be generated. If sales are not where they are expected to be, it is difficult to determine if it is because of the lack of sales development within the company or if there is a flaw in the sales techniques used. Mystery shopping programs can provide companies with a program that will help them determine which areas are lacking, make improvements, and even determine if sales training needs to be altered.
A supplier of office supplies and materials wanted to determine how special request orders were fulfilled and what options were provided to businesses who contacted them. They contracted the services of Ann Michaels & Associates to find out. Furthermore, they wanted to find out if upselling and cross selling was initiated during the order process, and what promotional materials, if any, were included in the customer’s packaging.
Ann Michaels & Associates used mystery shoppers who were small business owners in an industry that would need such supplies in a reselling capacity. Using their business information, they contacted the client’s locations to place a specific order with special requirements. They evaluated the order placing process, tracked time for delivery, and then reported on how the order was packaged, what promotional material was included with the order. Pictures were taken and uploaded onto the survey.
A plastics and materials testing laboratory conducted baseline evaluations to determine speed of email response, knowledge of testing and laboratory capabilities, and follow up attempts with potential customers. Additionally, they wanted to see firsthand how email inquiries were routed within the company, and if responses weren’t provided, at which point in the routing system the emails “fell through the cracks.” They contracted the services of Ann Michaels & Associates to conduct a baseline study, repeating the same study three months later and after training was completed to evaluate effectiveness of training procedures.