Improving customer service increases referrals and solidifies long-term relationships. To improve the way you treat clients, you can train staff, give them books, and provide service incentives. Or you can hire a “mystery shopper.”
Marketing and management consultant Laura Benjamin (www.laura benjamin.com) says it's easy to find someone to “shop” your company to assess your image and customer service systems. While it's impractical for the shopper to contract a job and examine service from start to finish, they can learn plenty through office and site visits, as well as phone calls. Among questions they might answer are the following.
Benjamin says the mystery shop can include inquiries to former or current customers and employees. Respected ad agencies and public relations firms often farm shopping duties to marketing consultants. Fees range up to $150 an hour.
You should receive verbal updates from your shopper and a written assessment on completion. The assessment should include what's working, what's not, and recommendations for improvement. Benjamin says results should be used not to embarrass or punish employees but as launch pad to examine how to improve image and service.