TalkShop

Blackout Dates

As the holiday season is now in full swing, you may be communicating to your Client Services Manager that mystery shoppers should not evaluate your locations on specific days. Your employees simply cannot be evaluated when they are at home with their families (whether gathered around a turkey, a fireplace, etc.) and your doors are closed. Mystery shopping programs are often given additional “blackout dates” when evaluations may appear atypical for a number of reasons. Take the recent behemoth shopping day Black Friday for example, which is widely assumed to be a “blackout date” because employees...

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Asking The Right Questions

Mystery shops are a great way to measure if a company’s procedures and protocols are being followed by a company’s associates.  Are the floors clean? Are you greeting each customer within 10 seconds of entering the store?  How long is the average wait for service?  All of these are important quantitative metrics that provide insight into the specifics of a store’s operations and compliance (or lack of).  More importantly, how do these policies impact the customer?  Do they really care if the entire product is fronted perfectly, and if so,...

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Rogue Mystery Shoppers

Many companies choose to employ mystery shoppers and mystery shopping companies to ensure their employees are offering the best and most reliable service they can.  Firms improve the customer service they offer, shoppers earn money, and sometimes employees even receive bonuses based on their performance with these secret shoppers. Sometimes, however, this system works in a different way.  Occasionally, the mystery shopper is not contracted by a mystery shopping firm or even the business entity itself. These shoppers can be self-driven, media-related, or even government-employed. Apple Inc. is known for their brand image and well-constructed products.  Apple...

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No Roses on Valentine’s Day

We have a little flower shop here in Perrysburg.  It's a block from my house, and I buy a lot of flowers and other stuff there.  For the past several years on Valentine's Day, I walk in and buy a dozen roses for my lovely wife Lori.  This year, when I arrived mid-afternoon and asked for a dozen roses, I was told by the lady who's always there, "We're all out" (I think she may own it; she's usually there when I go in, but she's never tried to build any...

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Jump Start 2011 Sales & Staff Motivation

Want an easy way to jump-start your sales in 2011, while at the same time helping your associates and managers avoid or get out of the post-holiday blahs?  Run an upsell contest and reward your star performers.  Studies have shown that uspell contests measured using active mystery shopping programs can improve upsell percentages as much as 50% in a very short period of time.  Whether you have stores, restaurants, branches, call centers, or other types of locations, you can use such programs to jump start sales this year, and also get your frontline people fired up and motivated. ...

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