Mastering the Art of Mystery Shopping
Particularly in the property industry, a large focus is placed on evaluating the monthly financial performance of businesses – so, shouldn’t the same concept apply to the sales and customer experience efforts of the on-site staff?
It’s crucial that developers know how effectively their prospects are nurtured, and how well the on-site team represents the brand.
A great strategy to determine these interpersonal factors is mystery shopping. The mystery shopping process can be used to evaluate the performance of a variety of services, from the online experience of customers and follow up, to the presentation of the sales office and the helpfulness of sales staff.
Essentially, the overarching objective of all mystery shopping initiatives is to create a baseline for the current customer experience, in order to create a sales process and build standards to enhance the customer journey. If you expect to achieve exceptional sales results for your project, then you must demand high standards from the front line.
Spending a significant amount of your budget on lead generation is a misuse of assets if the customer’s experience with your sales team is ordinary and inconsistent.
Most developers don’t need more customers, they just need the ones they have to be followed up and nurtured throughout their customer journey. Developers are at risk of burning through prospects with unimpressive service and bad word-of-mouth. Without the insight acquired from mystery shoppers, property businesses may never know which aspects of their service require improvement, or how to implement the necessary changes.
Unfortunately, online prospects are often considered of a lesser value than those who visit the sales centre – this is because they are in the more premature stages of the buying process. Rather than ignoring or sidelining online inquiries, sales teams must begin implementing nurture sequences that educate and develop a relationship with these potential customers, to help them progress along the buying cycle, and ultimately convert.
Mystery shopping can help to both identify and solve this problem. Mystery shopping is most definitely not about trying to catch out slacking sales representatives, rather, it endeavours to establish the current standard of customer experience to enable improvement and develop measures that ultimately improve the customer journey.
The Benefits: Mystery shopping affords property businesses the following benefits:
Provides an overall view of the strengths and weaknesses of the sales team
Pinpoints the sales team’s ability to gain new business
Objectively measures the quality of your service, against both competitors and industry benchmarks
Acts as a great tool for performance management or staff reward programs
Helps to identify any service gaps that will help improve your enquiry conversion rates
Ultimately, the process helps to improve sales teams’ customer service efforts, ensures the optimal representation of the brand and encourages consistency between sales representatives and the information they provide to prospects.
It’s an effective way to identify the areas of service that require attention and improvement and is a great starting point to develop strategies to improve these services. For example, if a business wanted to gain insight to their follow up initiatives for their online inquiries, a mystery shopper could register online to gain an understanding of the whole experience and evaluate it on a variety of factors:
Did they receive a welcome email?
Were they provided with valuable and meaningful information to nurture them through the purchasing process?
Did they receive a follow up call?
Were they invited to make an appointment and visit the sales centre?
Mystery shopping is an important component of our project diagnostics services at Property Republic
We start with online, telephone and in-person enquiries, monitor all communication and visit the sales centre. We then audit any follow up and provide a comprehensive report with recommendations.
Contact us today if your property brand requires a mystery shopping service to identify areas for customer experience improvement.