Being on message is not just important but critical to your businesses success. Profess to be an expert solicitor or accountant, then you better be one. If you are not, your reputation and ultimately your brand will suffer irreparable damage.
- How would you feel if an organic farm shop sold GM products?
- How would you feel about luxury hotel with dated rooms?
- How would you feel about a mystery shopping company that had unbelievably poor customer service?
Mystery Shopping companies should be experts in their field – increasing customer loyalty and bottom lines profits by executing exemplary customer service.
Why would anyone trust a mystery shopping company that failed on any of the above expectations with helping their business.
Here is a story of how, not one, not two, but four out of six UK mystery shopping companies failed to respond to a new business enquiry. The most basic of customer service tasks.
The company in question wrote to six mystery shopping companies – the top six that came up when they googled “Mystery shopping competitor”
Their email said that they were looking for an independent mystery shopper to do some work that would involve a one time comparison of their customer service vs a competitor. They stated that if this proved successful that they might require more reports.
The initial email went to our head office and they responded just 32 minutes later. Once it was identified that the business was based in Bolton she emailed them to explain that I would be in contact as the local Shopper Anonymous representative in the area. I emailed them in under 3 business hours from finding out they were based in Bolton.
I built a brand new report, tailored specifically for the two mystery shops they wanted us to complete. I realised that the initial profit for us as a business on this one assignment was not significant (actually we would probably make a small loss). However, I had my eye on the longer term and hoped that there could be more business based upon the outcome of the results. Not only that, but to ensure we retain a good reputation it is important that we help local businesses, even where there is little profit in it for us. Plus I enjoy helping them!
Less than four weeks after they first contacted us I went to deliver the results. At the meeting they told me that they had contacted six companies. I asked what the responses had been like and was shocked by their reply.
Four of the six had not responded to their email at all – and still have not. One did respond, then asked them to elaborate on what they wanted in an email. Our customer replied, but never heard from them again.
A mystery shopping company cannot preach to businesses about delivering exceptional customer service unless it delivers this itself!! To ignore a customer because they look like they have low potential is short sighted and in our industry is suicidal!! You never know who is connected to who, but mystery shopping organisations should be more aware than anyone that poor service can lead to poor reviews online! Great service will lead to more business….which comes to the end of the story….
After a very interesting meeting, the customers were really excited about quality of our reports and what that would do for their business. They could see huge benefit from getting a significant amount of initial feedback and then more on a regular basis. They then intimated there might be about 5 times more reports than originally suggested. They are now taking this to the board to see if it will be authorised. I should find out the decision soon.
Moral of the story – treat every customer like you would treat your very favourite customer. Love them and you never know what will come out of it!! Ignore them at your peril!! And never preach one thing and deliver another.