If you are not regularly playing “mystery shopper” in your own business it just might be time to put on the dark glasses and experience your business from your consumer’s point-of-view.
Ask yourself the following questions before and during your evaluation:
1. What is your first impression–not just from a personal encounter but from all communication touch points online and offline? How does this first encounter make me feel? Was I uplifted, frustrated, neutral or apathetic?
2. If you receive your product in the mail or delivery service ask yourself if the delivery was prompt. Did the packaging hold up? Was it too easy or too difficult to open? Was there anything special about the packaging that caught my attention? Was the packaging excessive or lacking in protection?
3. What feelings came up when I open the product? Was it easy to use or complicated? Did the marketing/sales materials match the product and my expectations? How do I feel about the company as a result of this experience? Continuously rate your “feelings and perceptions” on a scale of 1-10. Is your rating continuously high or does it fluctuate drastically?
4. If you are purchasing in person, on line or by phone was my transaction handled efficiently? With care? Were my questions answered to my satisfaction? Was the website or the person I was interacting with “intuitive?” Did I have to ask questions that should have been explained or anticipated without my asking? Was the communication open, accessible, pleasant and uplifting? Am I feeling encouraged and supported in my decision to purchase this product or service? Was the “big picture” as well as the details explained in a way that matches my style of communication? Did I feel confident about the purchase or anxious or uncertain about the purchase?
5. Experience your product or service as though it were your very first encounter with a product of this kind. Now ask yourself, “what do I need to know that I wouldn’t know to ask?”
Put a plan in place to play “undercover boss” regularly. Make your evaluations comprehensive rather than cursory. Institute a program that allows all members of your organization to “shop” your product or service. Listen openly to feedback.
Become a service leader, not just a provider, and you’ll be rewarded with loyal customers who love to refer you.
Want more tips on communicating at work? You’ll find them in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.
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