BE A PLAYER - How to Survive and Thrive in a Business World full of Dramatic Change?
The simple and often used answer is “Don’t put all Your eggs in one basket!”
In the Mystery Shopping business it is easy to forget that success comes from applying this simple principle…
Of course the world has changed for all: for service providers, employees, shoppers and our valued customers. The question remains: “Are you seriously interested in taking the hard steps out of your comfort zone?” If your answer is a load and unqualified “YES”, then we should understand the reality that the previous “old world” has ended and it’s up to us to make the most of our new opportunities.
However, our primary goal should stay the same - to serve our colleagues, partners and customers – we just have to recognise there must be a different way…
So here are our three simple TIPS – be bold, if you can, it is the best way!
TIP # 1: GET BUSY – Step out to understand the real needs of your customers
Answer: Get out and ask them proactively! Learning to do quality sales work in a new bold way!
In Estonia there is a saying: “The mouse doesn’t run into the mouth of the sleeping cat!”. It’s important for us to remain awake, active and focused.
It might well be that during the good old days we just needed to answer the customers requests as they rolled in, without much effort, and business would run smoothly. Now we need to learn to do the hard sales work in a more proactive way and take the initiative ourselves. Sometimes it can be difficult for a research or analytics company to do it – it is not our style to be so bold! Professors are not salesmen after all.
So, if You decide to continue offering a quality service then you will have to get out and say so! The mice need catching… in the new world when lot of customers are stepping back and having to tighten their budgets, then you need to step out of your comfort zone, knock on their door, don’t be bashful, you have something good to offer - so make sure you do…
TIP # 2: GIVE MORE - Can I provide more value to my customers?
Answer: Yes, if You have MORE!
To improve sales results, you must also have a better product and service!
As Mystery Shopping providers we understand the training needs a company has, knowing all important details, connections and focus. After all we provide the results that show the gasp and training needs.
Until now if all you did was to simply gather and pass the data to your customers you have missed an open goal… You could provide a complete service by offering training and consulting based on the Mystery Shopping results. That would be a practical way of offering more value to the customers.
Customers will win from the situation. Quality sales work and service providing are not enough for a lasting customer relationship, if the customer will not gain any real and lasting benefits from our services. If You try hard to understand Your customer’s needs and provide a complete range of services then You will make sure the customers want to have a long and successful partnership with You.
Ask Yourself: “What addition value might our customers need and appreciate?”.
- Don’t just create the questionnaires for Mystery Shopping but present to your customer the value of renewing their Service Standards in the new world!
- Don’t just send a pdf with the technical Mystery Shopping wave results but also offer realistic analysis with clear prioritisation with what they should focus on to achieve better results.
- Don’t just send the managers the access to the results, but teach them how to use the results data and how to have productive feedback sessions with their employees!
TIP # 3: BUILD MORE - if You don’t have more find it!
Then develop the additional services that fit together well with Mystery Shopping and improving customer service OR cooperate with companies or partners who specialise at those services!
Here at Trendline in addition to offering the Mystery Shopping service, we have 20 years of experience in training and customer service developing business. We were hit by the covid surprise as were most of us. But by refocusing on new customer groups and with service-oriented activities we have reached an all-time business high as Mystery Shopping provider. Better for us, our employees, our shoppers and of course our clients.
The question should be “What services would our current and potential future customers appreciate?”. We have seen from our positive experience that our customers are enjoying and benefiting from the full service we are providing today. In addition to organising the Mystery Shopping waves and gathering information, we teach managers how to handle the information delicately and in an uplifting and motivating way (as the current times are just as difficult for the employees of our customers), we produce educational videos they can use during feedback process. We produce clear and focused service standards to make onboarding of new employees more practical and effective. They also value the opportunity to analyse and compare real customers’ opinions (customer surveys) with Mystery Shopping reports on a single platform.
So, get busy, give more, build more! Customers, colleagues and partners will sense the difference if you are ready to make an effort to contribute wholeheartedly, even more than you might expect. This is a win-win-win-win situation because in doing so, you and your service will grow and lead into the future.
by Eero Palm
Trendline Analytics, Estonia