“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Investing in regular mystery shops can reveal a lot about your business. As a business owner, having as much insight as possible into customer experience and expectations helps you remain competitive. Here are 8 reasons to hire a mystery shopper and what they can find out for you:

1. What is the customer experiencing?
Because the mystery shopper is reviewing all aspects of their experience as a customer, it gives you a clear window into what your customers experience. It can also help you see if the customer experience is meeting the expectations of your brand.

2. Are there measurable patterns?
Frequent and regular mystery shops can help highlight performance or quality patterns over time. Every business has bad days and good days that might not accurately reflect overall patterns. Identifying patterns helps you more clearly see areas that need improvement or see where employees are really raising the bar and doing a great job.

3. Are you retaining customers?
Consistently poor mystery shop scores indicate that the average customer experience is likely to be poor as well. Customers rarely return to a business that provides a disappointing experience. Even in very populated areas, there is a finite number of potential customers so retaining customers by providing positive experiences is key.

4. Do employees need additional training?
Feedback from mystery shoppers can help you identify areas where additional employee training can improve performance or quality. It can also help you identify which employees would benefit from additional training to help them better meet the expectations of your brand.

5. Is your location kept in good condition?
Mystery shoppers provide information on the cleanliness and upkeep of every area visible to the customer. This includes areas of the food/cook line that are visible to the customer (in restaurants), dining area upkeep, bathroom upkeep and sales floor upkeep (in retail).

6. What is most important to the customer?
Reports from mystery shoppers help create awareness for both the business owner and employees about what is most important to the customer. Knowing what is most important to the customer and meeting those expectations keeps them coming back.

7. How does service, performance and quality measure up over time?
Regular mystery shops help you track and monitor customer service, employee performance and product quality over time.

8. Is the customer experience consistent?
Frequent mystery shops reveal whether the customer experience is consistent from visit to visit in terms of product quality, service and delivery to the customer. Of course, you want to see that the customer experience is consistently good every time they visit your business.

Using mystery shoppers to regularly evaluate your business from the customer’s perspective can help you find out a great deal about how your business is performing. The customer experience is one of the most important factors in the success of your business.