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It’s Just a Snapshot….


That’s exactly what a mystery shopping report is – a snapshot in time. Sometimes, especially when a lower overall percentage comes to you, it’s hard to remember this. Carefully reading the report, talking with the staff, and looking at the big picture is all good advice to remember.


When you receive a report where there were issues, it is a good idea to read through any narrative/comments carefully and pinpoint where things didn’t go as they should. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to have a conversation with the employee and take a look at past reports that involved this particular employee or employees – is this a recurring issue? Are the areas that weren’t done up to standard consistent with this employee?


At any rate, when using mystery shopping reports to pinpoint areas of strength and areas to improve as it relates to the customer experience, using the analytical reporting capabilities of your program is paramount. Looking at the overall numbers, rather than one particular report, will give you the insight you need to determine a call to action.


Not all businesses fully utilize analytical reporting. If you fall into this category, here’s what you may be missing…..


1. Exception analysis: want to see how your locations stack up? Run this report and it will rank your locations from highest overall percentage to lowest. You can choose to do this for a month, quarter, or entire year.


Similarly, if you want to rack locations based on performance on one section of a report, maybe customer service, you can do that as well.


2. Survey summary: this report takes each question on your mystery shopping report and shows you how it was answered over time. Again, you can choose any date range you wish, and then look at the data as a company, just for a particular region or district, or even drill down to one single location.


This is an excellent report to view overall strength and areas for improvement, and lets you see trends for each question of the report.


3. Trending analysis: this report allows you to see performance over a six or 12 month period of time. This is great for viewing progress in your mystery shopping program and can help you determine if the company is reaching its goals for customer service levels.


4. Head to head: If you’re using a mystery shopping program coupled with a feedback survey program, you can use this report to compare questions that are similar on both. For example, if you use the Net Promoter Score rating on both reports, you can easily take a look at how the average customer rates your business compared to a mystery shopper who is trained in making key operational observations.


Keeping focus on the big picture is key when it comes to a successful mystery shopping program. Individual employee performance is important, and the data collected can be used for additional training, performance reviews, and incentives.  It’s a good idea though to remember that it IS just a snapshot in time…