Retail - Customer surveys and mystery shopping for a perfect shopping experience

INCREASING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND SALES WITH AN EXCELLENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

concertare has been offering projects to improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction for over 20 years. In particular, projects with a focus on mystery shopping and surveys are carried out in retail companies, retail chains, and branches as well as in specialty retail. There, in addition to factors such as product quality, price, and placement, the performance of the sales force is particularly decisive for sales.

Using industry-specific scenarios, concertare records the behavior of sales staff in particular and enables them to optimize their own sales performance through targeted self-control. With special programs, sales per sales force can be demonstrably increased in the long term.

We work in particular in the following areas:

  • Car dealerships
  • DIY stores
  • Electronics (CE)
  • Furniture retail
  • Specialty retail
  • Food / FMCG
  • Luxury goods
  • Online retail
  • Gas station stores
  • Telecommunications
  • Fashion retail
  • Mail order

OBJECTIVES AND PROJECTS IN RETAIL

The most important project goals and services for retailers are:

Test purchases in retail: our mystery shoppers / test buyers check customer orientation and service quality of sales staff on site.

Determination of training needs: For sales staff and customer advisors with the aim of increasing customer satisfaction through higher quality of advice in customer contact.

Programs for monitoring the success of training: Checking the success of sales training and coaching measures.

Advice on and implementation of measures to increase sales and raise the average receipt: This includes, in particular, the targeted further development of sales staff in customer consulting with regard to their advisory and sales skills.

Checking and further development of contact quality: At all customer interfaces and touchpoints along the customer journey, sales promotion at the point of sale.

Campaign checks and promotion checks: To determine the success of the campaign.

Test purchases and audits: To check compliance with legal standards, primarily youth protection tests and data protection checks.

Test thefts: With the aim of identifying weak points and raising awareness among sales staff. This results in a measurable decrease in inventory discrepancies due to shoplifting.

Customer surveys: To determine expectations and satisfaction levels.

Employee surveys: To determine employee expectations, employee satisfaction, and employee retention.

Benchmark data generation: Competitive intelligence and competitor research.

CLIENTS AND PROJECTS (EXTRACT)

INSTRUMENTS FOR CUSTOMER LOYALTY AND INCREASED SALES IN THE RETAIL SECTOR

Various measurement tools are used to collect data and characteristic values on quality in customer contact. The most frequently used methods include:

Customer contact surveys using mystery research methods: primarily mystery shopping, test purchases and test consultations, as well as quality analyses of recorded sales and consulting discussions

Key figure analyses with various KPIs: such as sales per customer or employee, amount of average receipt, complaint rate, repurchase probability and willingness to recommend (Net Promoter Score), customer satisfaction (Customer Satisfaction Index), customer loyalty and churn rate

Customer surveys: e.g. on topics such as service quality, price perception or perception of current promotions

Employee surveys: to determine employee expectations, employee satisfaction and employee loyalty

Partner surveys: for example, of sales and retail partners

Process analyses along the entire customer journey: with a focus on brand perception, shopping experience, emotional factors, enthusiasm factors, information behavior and perception at the point of sale

MYSTERY RESEARCH PROCEDURES IN RETAIL SECTOR

With mystery shopping, all customer contact channels can be considered and objectively surveyed, in particular through test purchases, observations, test calls, test emails, and audits.

Mystery Shopping differs from other test procedures or surveys in that, beyond the pure measurement of customer orientation and sales behavior, employee development can be advanced in a targeted manner. Our mystery shopping procedures allow direct feedback from the test customer to the sales staff, who can then reflect on the experienced sales behavior from the customer's point of view.

Our mystery shoppers / test customers are specially trained for retail and specific product groups and evaluate, with the help of a coordinated questionnaire, those factors that are crucial for quality in customer contact and an excellent customer experience.

There are criteria that cannot be determined at all or only with difficulty in classic customer surveys, including internal company standards, specifications for retail partners, or those of the legislature. Mystery shoppers who have been sensitized in training courses check compliance with such standards by means of test purchases and tests for the protection of minors. Another mystery shopping method frequently used in retail is the theft test to minimize inventory discrepancies.

A third central test procedure looks at all steps and touchpoints along the customer journey in order to capture the holistic customer experience.

These steps usually include an analysis of customers' information and online search behavior on prices and products before visiting the store or branch, contact at the point of sale, and processes downstream of the purchase (including follow-up communication). Aspects of the store such as its findability, the parking situation, the presentation of goods and products, cleanliness, etc., and employee-related characteristics such as appearance, greeting, quality of advice, etc. can be examined.

CUSTOMER SURVEYS IN RETAIL BUSINESS

Customer surveys are a proven instrument for systematically and continuously measuring customer expectations and customer satisfaction.

concertare has been conducting various types of surveys in retail for many years and with a high level of industry expertise. In addition to classic customer surveys, these also include non-customer or potential customer surveys, which help you to develop new customer segments.

The instrument of the dealer survey is frequently used in retail. This generates comparable information about sales partners, stores, departments, and more. They help to raise the service level and customer orientation of employees and sales partners to an equally high level.

From the surveys conducted, we identify areas for action and derive specific measures to support the agreed targets.

INCREASE SALES AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION WITH MORE CUSTOMER FOCUS AND SALES ORIENTATION

Mystery shopping projects in retail can pursue a variety of objectives. The three basic perspectives that can be the focus of an assignment, individually or together, are as follows:

Projects that aim to develop sales staff: Here, higher customer orientation, better consulting quality in customer contact and service orientation are to be tested and further developed, thus increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and winning new customers. The sales department is often the initiator of such projects.

Projects in which existing training courses are to be tested for their success or training concepts are to be further developed: Here, repeated test purchases can be used to make training successes visible, and employees can be continuously developed through sustainable coaching. These projects are often commissioned by the HR / personnel development and training departments.

Process tests: In these, existing or newly introduced processes are tested for their efficiency, safety, and customer perception. This can extend to employee behavior in the context of promotional campaigns: Here, for example, it can be checked whether sales staff have all the information about current promotions and discounts that is important for customers at their fingertips and are able to provide information.

BENCHMARKS FOR RETAIL BUSINESS

Benchmark studies are a tried-and-tested tool for assessing a company's own stores and retail partners on a comparative basis and for setting them in contrast with data from competitors.

The benchmark comparison can cover various parameters and areas, from key figure analysis on customer satisfaction to the performance of the sales force, to the average success of promotional campaigns, and much more. Such tests, including competitive checks, usually involve a large number of surveys and are therefore costly.

Since 2005, concertare has regularly conducted corresponding benchmark tests in the German retail sector, in which the performance of market participants in their segment is measured in a comparable manner. We make this data available to all retailers who wish to compare themselves with their competitors.

INTERESTING ARTICLES ABOUT MYSTERY SHOPPING AND TEST PURCHASES IN THE RETAIL SECTOR

On the subject of mystery shopping and test purchases in retail, you will find current studies, practical examples and trends in the concertare Infocenter as well as on the concertare blog.


Contact us, if you would like to learn how you too can increase customer satisfaction and turnover!

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