A mystery shopping program will give you a perspective on your business’s operations that is difficult to obtain any other way. There are many benefits to using mystery shoppers and they can help to increase your sales in a number of ways. The detailed feedback that they can offer about your business will really help you to improve your operations and get the edge over your competition. When a mystery shopping company such as Tactical Solutions enters your business premises posing as a customer, they will be able to see your business with fresh eyes, which makes them very effective at identifying where you can improve. Mystery shoppers are not as expensive as you might think and the helpful information that they can provide means that they offer excellent value for money. So how will using a mystery shopping program help you to increase your sales? These are just a few of the ways that mystery shoppers can help to improve your bottom line: Improving Guest Experience Mystery shoppers will help you to take a good look at the customer service skills of your employees and what the guest experience is like. This will help to make doing business with you a much more enjoyable experience for your customers, which will lead to an increase in repeat business and referrals. When customers visit your place of business, do they leave happy and satisfied or are they frustrated by a lack of quality service or inadequacies of your business? If there are currently flaws in the customer service aspect of your business, a mystery shopper will be able to spot them and help you improve. A happy customer is someone who will come back again and again – and will also recommend your business to all of their friends. Spotting Problems with Processes Is it very difficult and time consuming to return a product for a refund at your store? During busy times are you short staffed and do long lines form at your cash registers? Do your customers have to fill out a long and annoying form to sign up for a membership or a service? These time consuming and frustrating processes could be turning away customers and reducing your sales – as people will simply get fed up with your business and walk away. A mystery shopping company will be able to spot these problems and let you know how best you can improve them. Sometimes you can’t spot these problems because you are too close to the business – it requires a fresh eye to look at the whole process and see what you are doing wrong. Optimising Your Store Layout If your store has a confusing layout and it is difficult for customers to find the items they need, they might end up shopping elsewhere. Your mystery shopper will also comment on the layout of the store and how it can be improved so that items can be more easily found. You’d be surprised at how much you can increase sales simply by organising your products differently and placing the most popular or appealing items prominently at eye level. Ensure Employees are Using Sales Techniques When your sales staff are interacting with customers, are they using sales techniques to encourage them to buy more product? This doesn’t mean being pushy and trying to get the customer to buy something they don’t want – it just refers to using their persuasive skills to let customers know about the benefits of purchasing the products. If your employees are able to do this well, this can greatly increase your sales. Your mystery shoppers will be able to give you valuable feedback on the sales techniques of your staff. Valuable Research at a Lower Cost Focus groups and market research can be expensive, so mystery shopping programs will allow you to conduct this research in a much more affordable way. You can decide exactly what aspects you would like your mystery shopper to focus on and you can develop special evaluations that will help you to implement these tests over a specific period of time. This will allow you to provide valuable product information and help you to determine the areas in which your business needs to improve. Also, you can send your mystery shoppers to a new location so that you can gain valuable insight into strengths and possible areas of improvement. Comparing You With Your Competitors What are your competitors doing that you are not – and is it making them more successful than you? It is a very competitive world out there and you don’t want to get left behind by another company that can outperform you in your field. Another advantage to using mystery shoppers is that they will able to let you know how you stack up against your competitors. You will be able to compare your strengths and weaknesses with others in your industry so that you can measure your performance. This will give you a major advantage, because it will allow you to make the essential tweaks you need in order to really stand out from the competition. These are just a few of the ways that a mystery shopping program will increase your sales and help you gain more profits. The first step to taking advantage of this is to hire the right mystery shopping company. You will want to look for a company with plenty of experience and a knowledge of businesses in your type of industry. Look for a mystery shopper who has great communication skills and strong powers of observation, so that they will be able to give you a high quality account of their experiences when visiting your place of business. When you have found the right mystery shopping company, you can meet with them to determine what your needs are and what aspects they will be focusing on during the campaign. Develop a plan and then let your mystery shopping team go to work for the benefit of your business! Images: “Young beautiful woman doing the silent sign with her finger over a shopping center background/Shutterstock.com“ ______________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.