If you’ve ever worked in the service industry at any level, chances are that the thought of a mystery guest or a mystery shopper fills you with dread or anxiety. You never know who it might be, so you always have to put your best foot forward. Moreover, the whole staff has to remain on high alert so as not to make an accidental mistake.
No one likes mystery customers, but after a while, you become aware of the importance of their job. There is value in knowing exactly how to improve the user experience for your customers. For the most part, getting such concrete feedback can do wonders for a business. So, let’s talk about ways to improve UX with mystery shopping.
First and foremost – get to know your competitors!
Businesses are globally waking up to the benefits of customer experience, giving their best to improve all aspects of it. If you are running a business of any kind, you will have competitors all around you. As you fight to corner a market, tides can shift. To prevent falling behind your competitors, it is crucial to know their strategies, advantages, and disadvantages.
Hiring mystery shoppers to visit competitors’ websites is a fantastic strategy.
It will show you how they conduct their business and connect with their customers. It will probably also showcase some of their weaknesses that you could exploit to make UX for your customers better.
Inspect the flow and simplicity of your website
When you visit a website, you want to find it simple to use. A clear structure should help you to navigate your way throughout all the pages. What you don’t want is to get lost in complex navigation systems and designs that don’t really make any sense.
There are certain traps businesses frequently fall into when designing their web pages. When you are building a website for your business or hiring someone to do it for you, you might have ideas that look good in theory but fail in practice.
You can avoid these common trappings by using mystery shoppers. Since mystery shoppers will give you honest reviews on every aspect of your website, using them is a great tool to get rid of all the unnecessary features and bring user experience to a new level.
Can your customers find what they are looking for?
Whenever a customer visits your website, they are there with a purpose. The main question should be, are they able to get what they want?
Presenting information of importance should be done in the most effective way. A lot of websites fail at this, “hiding” crucial information instead of displaying it on the front page.
That wastes time for the customer and may affect the conversion rate.
Checking the technical side of the website
Finding bugs on a website is never satisfying. Since mystery shoppers are, in a way, testers of products, they may discover things that need to be fixed. These can range from small issues, like an image not displaying properly, to large ones, like your payment processing system not working.
No matter what your business is, at one point you will have a customer complaint. It is imperative to handle them with care and diligence.
If you have a large customer support team, online chat options, support lines, and ticketing systems, you must make sure that everything works as it should.
Furthermore, you must make sure that all of the customer care agents perform their duties impeccably, have superb communication skills, and understand the job and the customers.
Improve UX with mystery shopping by testing how you handle customer complaints.
To further underline the importance of mystery shopping, let’s look at some statistics (1):
- 90% of unhappy customers will not submit a complaint because they want to avoid unpleasant situations. Instead, they will go and complain to the competitor companies.
- If not satisfied with the service, 69% of customers will change the company that is providing the service.
- In a research done by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association in 2004, they conducted over 8.1 million mystery shops. As a result, companies that used mystery shoppers had a growth of 10%.
Are your social platform profiles operating with success?
More and more, companies are using social platforms to conduct their business. Furthermore, they advertise using tools like azcitationservices.com, blog and vlog posts, influencers, and similar.
Social media platforms are also used for communication with customers, especially for retailers.
User experience is much more than just having a good website. It is the complete service you are providing to your customers. In order to keep it in check, mystery shoppers will provide valuable information about the quality of your social media profiles.
Finding fresh ideas and ways to improve UX with mystery shopping
Finding new ideas to improve user experience is a difficult job. Since all strategies have been exploited so many times, coming up with unique approaches to satisfy customers is not a job for a single person or business.
No matter how large your team is, they can’t know every thought your customers are thinking. A mystery shopper will visit your website, purchase a service, and provide a full review of what the expectations were versus what they experienced. Remember that the true customer value lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Where to find mystery shoppers?
To further help you in making this decision, here are some statistics on how mystery shoppers operate. The following statistics are from June 2020 (2):
- 63% of mystery shoppers obtain access to mystery shopping opportunities through three or more mystery shopping provider companies. This helps solidify their status as independent contractors.
- There is a stable core of experienced mystery shoppers as 53% of them work as independent contractors for three years or more.
- 81% of mystery shoppers are part-time independent contractors. As such, they perform fewer than 20 shops a month.
- Mystery shoppers, on average, perform shops for 3.75 different industries. This shows that shoppers gain mystery shopping experience in multiple industries and thereby preserve their anonymity while honing their skills and professionalism
Here is a quick summary of how to improve UX with mystery shopping. These strategies will help you to:
- learn about your competitors, and find ways to exploit their weaknesses and strengths
- make sure you are providing a simple solution for what your customers need
- provide value to your customers
- correct technical issues with your website
- handle complaints effectively
- test the way you connect with clients through social media
- discover fresh ideas to push your business forward
Consequently, if you improve UX with mystery shopping, there is a good chance that your conversion rate will jump. With that in mind, focus on your customers and do everything you can to make their experience unique.
Jonathan Summers is a freelance blogger with a background in graphic design and advertising. With over 10 years of accumulated experience, Jonathan strives towards helping young enthusiasts to become skilled professionals. In his spare time, he likes to read and listen to music.