B2B Mystery Shopping

 

Mystery Shopping certainly isn't just for retail, hospitality and other B2C businesses. It is used a lot for B2B businesses too. Including some very niche B2B businesses

Enquiries made to your own B2B organisation

Arranging enquiries to your own B2B organisations can help you find ways to improve:

  • Sales conversion ratios
  • Average order values
  • Client satisfaction
  • Loyalty / renewals / attrition

…and countless other aspects of your business including positioning, marketing collateral, systems, processes and operational issues.

You can gain valuable information about things that were already “on your radar”, and completely new insights about things that weren’t.

Competitor B2B Mystery Shopping

However, many (not all) of the B2B projects that we speak to clients about (and help them with) are focused on the client's competitors (B2B Competitor Mystery Shopping).

Sometimes in these cases the client wants to arrange enquiries with their own organisation as part of a cohort in a comparative study. But generally, if a client is interested in their competitors, the competitors are what they are most interested in.

Clients want to know all about their competitors' products, features, pricing, terms, sales processes, affiliations and partnerships, and everything that helps the target company to win business. Clients then use this understanding to win more business themselves. In competitive situations, this sort of knowledge is always going to be powerful if it is used wisely.

We would always suggest that businesses who want to look at themselves should also look at competitors, and that those who want to look at competitors also look at themselves.

Among the known "Mystery Shopping companies" (certainly in the UK), we have built up a track record and a reputation for handling demanding B2B projects, and we have unique methods for achieving results.

How?

It's not easy to achieve, but it is simple to explain:  We proactively recruit genuinely suitable people to make credible enquiries. Doing this, we've arranged successful enquiries (and gathered valuable information) that many people would find surprising.

B2B Mystery Shopping (whether it's focused internally or externally, or both) can be a very valuable exercise, as long as it is handled correctly. Want to find out more?

Schedule a discovery call or call now on 01392 984224.

What has prompted your interest?

Interest in Mystery Shopping (including Competitor Mystery Shopping) can be driven by many things, but most often it is driven by concerns.

Perhaps you have concerns about sales conversions. Maybe competitors are converting leads into customers, when you should be converting them.

Or maybe you’re worried about mediocre service delivery.

Maybe you are just keen "what you don't know", and to get an outsider’s perspective and any insights into how you can improve your offer, your sales processes, or your service or support.

Whatever stoked your interest, you probably have lots of questions and things you need to decide on before you can move forward. On our Blog, you’ll find articles that will provide more food for thought.

One is about why Mystery Shopping can be so valuable for B2B businesses. There are some good reasons why, sometimes, really honest feedback isn’t likely to come from your existing customers (or from your prospective clients who decide to go elsewhere!).

This page also outlines some general considerations, explains more about our approach and includes some reasons to get in touch with us to discuss your project (please call on 01392 984224 or email connect@customerwise.co.uk).

Some common considerations

B2B Mystery Shopping projects and programmes tend to be more involved than B2C projects, and often they’re more challenging in terms of planning and administration.

It isn’t necessarily rocket science, but a degree of thought and care is needed along with, often, a bespoke approach. Here are some factors:

  • B2B sales cycles are often longer and much more complex than B2C sales cycles, involving multiple stages or interactions.
  • There might be very specific requirements in terms of buyer profiles - the scenarios that are played out need to be relevant and realistic. There is the whole challenge of "qualification" to consider.
  • You may also want to look at different products and services (or combinations of them), or look at different departments, teams, or even individuals.
  • You may want to go beyond the sales process and look at other parts of the customer or client journey… perhaps, the whole thing (yes, B2B clients sometimes want purchases to be made!)
  • Maybe you want more than one perspective.

Depending on your business, or your industry and targets, there might be lots of things to consider.

A bespoke solution that is co-designed

Some B2B businesses are very clear on what they want and the approach they want to take, and sometimes their requirements are quite simple and straightforward.

But often we find that B2B clients want and need more support. They want a partner who can co-create their B2B Mystery Shopping project or programme with them; someone who can advise them, and share ideas (before then moving the project forward).

If your provider is going to serve as your trusted advisor, you should trust them... and ideally, they should have some advice to share!

Not all the same

It may sound obvious, but not all Mystery Shopping companies will offer the same quality of advice, or demonstrate the same level of competence. This is especially true in the case of B2B projects. We don't know of any "Mystery Shopping" companies who take the same approach to B2B projects as us.

Some companies have been known take approaches that are very poorly thought out and produce disappointing results (or none).

In the end, the exercise should produce valuable insights and information that can help your business to improve performance, but if handled badly (or cheaply), it could be a frustrating waste of time and money.

So, if you are going to work with a partner, choose the right partner.

Your provider must also have a team member who will then take ownership of service delivery and ultimately meet, and preferably exceed, your expectations .

Finding the right B2B Mystery Shopping partner

How will you select the right company to work with?

Don't rush in

Firstly, we'd recommend that you don’t rush into a decision about who you are going to work with.

You should have conversations about your project with several providers, and see who you “click” with, and who seems to really understand you, your goals and your objectives.

If they really want to work with you (and if they deserve to!), they should be willing to help you to scope out and plan the delivery of your project or programme.

It's a good thing if you can allow some time (e.g. a few days) for the providers to consider your project and produce something in writing that confirms their understanding of your needs, and outlines their thoughts and ideas, along with their proposed route forward.

You may see standard proposals with whole sections that are irrelevant. Important points that you explained during phone calls or online meetings may be apparently forgotten about. You might just see some sloppiness or indications of poor engagement.

These sorts of issues may be familiar to anyone who's used B2B services (we've all been there!), or freelancers, but of course, these are clear clues that working together is going to be a disappointment.

Any provider worth considering should be able to make intelligent suggestions and provide a clear written proposal that addresses your priorities and concerns, before you decide whether to go ahead.

There should be a lot that you can glean just from two or more conversations with a potential provider, and their written follow up. Are they listening well and taking in what you say? Do they add value in each call? Are they highlighting potential challenges, and proposing solutions or work-arounds? Do they help you to clarify your thoughts, and help you to see a clearer route forward?  Do they perform a reasonable amount of research after your first call and really apply some thought to your situation?

 

Why should you work with Customerwise?

We have a lot of experience in delivering on B2B Mystery Shopping compared to most other Mystery Shopping companies, and we deliver to a higher standard. We seem to be one of very few that regularly arrange for genuine B2B decision makers to make highly involved enquiries, credibly.

We hope that you’ll include Customerwise among the providers you speak to. Here are some of the main reasons you should give us a call (on 01392 984224)…

Director level oversight and account management

Every B2B Mystery Shopping project we undertake is managed personally by one of our directors.

We all have a genuine passion for customer service and creating great customer experiences. We also stay abreast of the latest thinking in sales, marketing, and in psychology / behavioural science as these things relate to sales and marketing.

We believe that great customer experiences and effective, pro-active sales activity are not mutually exclusive, especially in B2B settings. In today's world they need to go hand in hand. Sales interactions also need to add value for the client from the start in ways that help them to work towards a good decision.

So we aim to help clients find ways to increase both customer satisfaction and sales (conversion ratios, average order values, etc.).

If you work with us, we'll will aim to share valuable new insights and ideas with you, in addition to the reliable and robust feedback that you are seeking.

A B2B background

Most Mystery Shopping are started by founders who have backgrounds in retail, hospitality or other B2C industries, where they gained experience of Mystery Shopping.

Customerwise is a little different. Paul Taylor's background (our founder) is in B2B services, with many years of experience in selling, and providing B2B and professional services, and (of course) buying and using them (as a company director).

Experience in advising and serving businesses in a wide variety of industries.

Customerwise has, since early 2016, helped B2B and B2C businesses in a wide range of industries. We’ve demonstrated an ability to rise creatively to new challenges.  Our work is consistently described in glowing terms including by clients. Often those clients are in industries that we were completely new to when we began working with the relevant client.

 

Schedule a discovery call or call now on 01392 984224.