The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) has conducted the 44th Retail Excellence (Retail EXL) Seminar, giving the attendees a “crash course” on planning and designing a successful Mystery Shopping program for their company, last January 23, 2019.
SatisFIND founder Michelle Patel during the 44th Retail EXL
The seminar, held at the Joy-Nostalg Hotel and Suites Manila in Pasig City was facilitated by Mystery Shopping and Customer Insighting expert Michelle Patel.
During the seminar, she explained to the attendees that Mystery shopping is more relevant today because companies need actionable insights and data to be competitive, to innovate and increase engagement.
She gave a lively discussion on the benefits of Mystery Shopping for both online and offline stores, as well as debunked misconceptions on mystery shopping such as that it is not an audit and not meant to find fault in people.
“It is our job to give them (customers) a consistent brand experience. Strong brands stay in business because they are committed to it,” she told the attendees.
“To mystery shop is to be proactive, instead of staying reactive. You take action before the problem escalates. You avoid the blame game because you are in control,” she added.
During the seminar, participants were also given activities to help them understand better mystery shopping by crafting a desired customer experience journey and mapping the employee experience.
Retail EXL is a series of seminars aimed at upgrading and updating the skills and competencies of retailers and helping create a more competitive retail workforce. This is done in partnership with industry experts and experienced trainors. http://www.philretailers.com/
Customer Service is no longer one department’s responsibility, and the businesses that excel at it are those whose leadership teams embrace Customer Service and feedback as an organization.
On January 23, 2019, the Philippine Retailers Association has invited SatisFIND® Founder, Michelle Patel to conduct a workshop specially designed for online and offline retailers. Workshop participants will be equipped with the right mindset, knowledge and tools to design and effectively launch their own mystery shopping system and use it to improve Employee and Customer Experiences.
Mystery Shopping is a methodology used since the 1940s but today’s retail landscape requires a COMPLETE REBOOT on how to use it with impact on your culture and bottom line. Mystery Shopping provides the metric for CONSISTENCY, the real formula in building strong brands that endure the test of time and avoid risks of disruption.
Change your perspective on what Mystery Shopping is and isn’t, and see the power it can do for your business, employees and customers.
This is open for non – PRA members too.
Call +63 2 687-4180/81
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Look for Ivan or Norie
Register now and avail the Early Bird Rate: https://bit.ly/2QiJQF5
Getting customer feedback puts us on the spot. We’re in crosshairs of other people’s expectations. When we receive customer feedback, we’re forced to multitask; we have to acknowledge and assess the complaint; pinpoint the problem; and if possible, troubleshoot the customer’s situation; and if it can’t be solved with troubleshooting, appease the dissatisfied customer to ensure his/her return with the promise that the next experience will match the customer’s now verbalized expectations.
The feedback may be directed at you; it may be about a front-liner; it may be in the form of an email about your ad campaign; and it could be something less in your control like your supplier’s behavior or hygiene.
Handling feedback is a complex job that can be over in a matter of minutes, the speed of which can trigger a fight/flight/freeze response. In this case, we are pressured to act in self-defense, or acting to “take care of it” without thinking. Or it could cause us to “freeze,” and stand speechless, unable to do anything, annoying an irate customer further.
The unfortunate fact is we have been trained to see customer reviews as negative criticism. But this is a point of view that should be corrected, if you wish to handle customer feedback with the best in the business. (more…)
Customer service may not be in every business plan, but it should be. Whether you’re putting up a new business or are entering a new phase of your business like franchising, expansion or specialization, assessing your customer relationship or procedure is essential.
The way customers feel is the second most important take-away of every transaction. Because after appreciating the value of your product or service, you want them to return. How you get them to return will depend on letting them know you appreciate their business as much as they do yours.
Beginning a Customer Experience Measurement Program is definitely a worthwhile investment to be able to efficiently and effectively improve your brand’s customer service experience. Engaging in Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) is undertaking an important process improvement, and the last thing you want is to waste this opportunity. For the uninitiated, there ARE ways to do so.
PITFALL #1: Having a Questionable Questionnaire
Your questionnaire is the metric the Customer Experience Advocates (CEAs) will be basing their evaluation on when they visit and assess a customer environment. Since this plays such an integral role to CEM, each item needs to be properly thought through. Here are 3 guidelines you should keep in mind:
- Revisit your own standards – Your customer service standards (as trained to your employees) should serve as the basis for creating the parameters of your questionnaire. One cannot fault a front-liner for not following a standard he or she was never trained to do or know. At the same time, this would be a good time to ask the hard-hitting questions like Are all of these standards realistic? Are they enforced? Are any of them no longer relevant? What delights my customer? What irritates them?
- Make sure that what you WANT to measure NEEDS to be measured – You want the CEAs to be operating along the lines of a typical visit and act like auditors aside from being customers. They should spend an amount of time in the establishment that is similar or close to the time they would’ve spent if they just went there as a regular customer. Hence, parameters like those that ask them to count the number of light bulbs in the store should be avoided unless absolutely necessary to the objectives of the study.
- Have clear rating scales – You want to be very specific about the things you want measured. Stay away from rating scales like VERY BAD, BAD… GOOD, VERY GOOD since the difference between GOOD and VERY GOOD is relative. Use rating scales that are very specific such as:
Select the highest rating that meets all the criteria:
5 – Staff was friendly, made eye contact, asked/used your name to address you, and engaged you in a small talk.
4 – Staff was friendly and made eye contact but did not speak to you beyond taking your order.
3 – Staff did not make eye contact or did not smile.
2 –Staff was distracted and not focused on taking your order.
1 – Staff appeared irritated or was abrasive.
- Make sure qualitative data is captured – Give spaces in the questionnaire for CEAs to answer questions in their own words, especially about their impressions of the customer touchpoint. This will paint an overall picture and give some context for the quantitative data collected.
PITFALL #2: Being Price-Oriented More Than Results-Oriented When Selecting a Customer Experience Measurement Program
Always keep in mind that CEM is an investment that will enable you to give your customers a memorable and pleasant experience that will lead to the growth of your business. If you tend to keep cutting corners in CEM, you will most likely not get the effect that you want.
Be sure to work closely with your CEM Agency to come up with a package that will get the job done without compromising the quality of your study. The last thing you want is to save a handful but lose the entire value of the investment in doing so. Ask yourself these questions: Do they just collect compliance information (such as “is the staff wearing a nametag? Yes/No”)? How do they assess the customer’s general level of satisfaction? How are results presented? Are recommendations made? Is support given to help you implement the recommendations? What kind of support?
PITFALL #3: Tackling The Results and Not The Problem
If you want to know the truth, make sure you can HANDLE the truth. When the results and assessments are out, be sure that you and your teams greet them with an open mind and not be defensive. Reassure them that this is not a blame game but rather an opportunity to identify what can and needs to be improved on in order to grow the business. No one should feel attacked during the results presentation as defensive employees are not in the proper mindset to make improvements.
A good customer experience measurement program is implemented by an agency with years of experience helping their clients deal with these issues. They should provide you with guidelines and support to help you prepare the team. With everyone in the proper mindset, you will be on your way to making your CEM investment pay off with increased traffic, stronger brand loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth sentiments.