“What gets measured, gets done” Tom Peters
When location, pricing, and product/services are no longer unique, service is the only differentiator and key to success or failure. Therefore you need to ensure that at all time your service delivery is consistent throughout of all your branches and your brand story is not damaged.
Measuring your service delivery will help you:
- Monitors and measures service performance
- Ensures product/service delivery quality
- Increase customer loyalty
- Makes employees aware of what is important in serving customers
- Reinforces positive employee/management actions with incentive-based reward systems
- Provides feedback from front line operations
- Monitors facility conditions – asset protection
- Supports promotional programmes
- Audits pricing & merchandising compliance
- Allows for competitive analyses
- Compliments marketing research data
- Identifies training needs and sales opportunities
- Educational tool for training & development
- Ensures positive customer relationships on the front line
- Enforces employee integrity
There are several ways to measure your service, but the one I think is the most valuable is Mystery Shopping. Mystery Shopping is to anonymously evaluate customer service, operations, employee integrity, merchandising, and product quality. Its using a professional company to help you create a set of questionnaire responding to your business objectives. Once the questionnaire is set up, the company will send their trained Mystery Shoppers to perform the visits and give an objective feedback of what has happened during their experience with you.
I know it’s tempting to think that you can do this exercise internally or ask family members to do it for you, it will save you a lot of money, right? WRONG, please, please, use professionals to help with your programme, doing it internally will only give you false results:
– the person may know the other person so they will feel they can’t really say what happens because they are their colleagues or they know them
– they may give you over positive feedback because they ‘like’ you
– or over critical because they don’t…
– they may not be able to give you detailed information because they are not trained to look at specifics
– they may not remember what you asked to measure and miss elements
– they may not be able to relate to their conversation with your staff in an objective manner
So you may think you are saving money when in fact you will never get a true picture of what is happening in your organizations.
There are many companies nowadays offering services such as Mystery Shopping, my advice: outsource it to a professional company, look for the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Professional Association) logo on their website, I mean, if you are going to do it, do it right and use a company who follows the standard, you can be sure that ethical conduct is followed and that you will be given the right advise. Next is to be very clear of your objectives, what are you trying to achieve out of the Mystery Shopping programme, and last to make a real difference, plan a long term programme, Mystery Shopping should be part of the your CX Strategy and should be monitoring on regular basis, not just as a one off, you won’t get the improvement and you won’t think it’s working.
- Celebrate success
- Identify improvement opportunities
- Develop new strategies
- Implement the new strategies
- Train your staff
- Measure again…
Don’t give your competitors the gift of your customers, review and adapt constantly to keep your customer loyalty figures high.
A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase between 25-95% in annual profits. (Bain & Company)
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