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
A few months ago, I organized an event for work, which required me to work with a vendor. Days before the event, I spoke with the owner and gave all the information needed – location and address of the venue, where to park, dress code, identification required, and where to set up the equipment. He confirmed everything and gave me the names of the staff I should expect to see on the morning of the event.
The day came and as early as 7am, I received an SMS from his staff asking where the venue is nearby. I texted the owner and said, “your staff is asking me information I already gave you. Handle it please.” After about half an hour, the venue coordinator called and said the vendor was asking her something technical she could not decide on.
I called the owner and said, why is your staff asking the venue coordinator things they would not know of? I reminded him that I gave him all the information he needed, nothing more, nothing less. And I still had a million things to do. He apologized for the confusion and said he will talk to his team.
He called back and told me confidently, “my boys are just DOUBLE-CHECKING to make sure everything is correctly set up.” I replied – “No, they were not double checking. They were asking things that they shouldn’t be asking in the first place if they had the information we discussed previously. I’m trying to be efficient about this set-up and I got you as the vendor because you are the expert in what you do, not me, not the venue coordinator.” He was silent for a moment then replied, “Ok so I will tell my boys to not double-check with you anymore.”
Breathe In. Breathe Out. I realized that morning, how people grossly abused the term, DOUBLE-CHECK.
According to Merriam-Webster, to Double-check means to check (something) again in order to be certain.
Last evening, the restaurant staff handed me my bill and said, “Kindly double check”. My left brain asked my right brain – ‘how can I double-check if I’m only about to check the bill now?’
Why do we say ‘double-check’, when what we mean is to simply ‘check’? Does it make us look more hardworking when we say ‘double-check’? Using it in a customer service context makes it worse, in my opinion. To say you will double-check does not give any more assurance to the customer when you are trying to solve his or her problem. The last time I called my telecom provider to ask some irregularity in my bill. Immediately, the agent said, “let me double-check”. My soul screamed silently –‘What is there to double-check when you’re about to check it for the first time now?’
In customer service, language is very important. Words used must be precise and deliberate because they strike a cord in your customers’ emotions, especially in customer recovery situations. Say ‘double-check’ when you are going to verify something again. It could even be a cross-check done by another personnel. In replying to your customer, there’s nothing wrong in saying, “Let me check on this now…”
There’s this charming little book I picked up in India many years ago called “The Ice Cream Maker” by Subir Chowdhury. I learned about the principle of “getting it right the first time” and the value this mindset for quality brings to an entire organization.
If we aim to get things right the first time, then that’s real efficiency and there won’t be a need to double-check or triple-check, right?
Image source: jaywalkingbackwards
I usually don’t talk about my work with our clients because of confidentiality, but I felt inspired to share my thoughts about a recent experience working with one of the largest, and most respected Filipino-owned companies in the Philippines.
While most companies would still approach Customer Experience as an abstract concept — in theory, a priority, yet unclear how to go about it– here was a company who has been laying down the foundations for some time, as they have been listening to their customers using means readily accessible. They believe in having a seamless and consistent end-to-end customer experience journey and to break silos, which are barriers to achieving this.
When I was first called for a meeting 6 months ago, I was surprised with the volume of work the team had put together, they have identified over 700 different touchpoints, which could be part of a roadmap towards achieving excellent customer experience. The customer research work SatisFIND contributed was only a small part of a large initiative led by this team, which had the full support of the company’s president.
What I have observed working with them leading to an important workshop yesterday where results and proposed action plans were presented to the President and Executive team for approval validated my belief that building a customer-centric culture can only be led from the top.
I attended yesterday’s workshop as an observer and presenter for a small part of the research done. Kaiz joined me and we were the only “outsiders” in that session. The workshop started with a prayer – being in the Philippines, a very religious Catholic nation, this is not really a surprise. A video was played and with the prayer being recited out loud by everyone in the room, I was overcome with emotion because it was a heartfelt prayer of gratitude and hope for its customers, employees, its suppliers, and the government. I found this to be a profound reflection of the very core of the company.
After an energetic and highly engaging 5 hours, the commitment to deliver excellent customer experience has been sealed. The work has just begun for the team and the next 6 months will be more challenging than ever.
As the president gave his closing message where he mentioned the value of taking care of the company’s frontliners in order to take care of their customers, I looked at everyone in the room and felt proud to have been a silent witness to this, I felt optimistic about the future of customer experience in the Philippines and I felt proud to be Filipino.
This was a realization of SatisFIND’s purpose. These were the moments I live for.
Do you remember when customer service became exciting? It used to be that Customer Service counters were reception areas for complaints. Thanks to innovations like ‘Service with a Smile,’ ‘We Deliver,’ and ‘Delivery in 15 minutes,’ the customer experience is reaching deep into what we really want, before we find out we want it.