Are you looking on behalf of a business for the highest quality telephone (or video chat) Mystery Shopping service available? If you are, then you’ve come to the right place. Please read on.
Here at Customerwise, we manage a broad range of Telephone Mystery Shopping projects and programmes.
Our Telephone Mystery Shopping work includes
- B2B as well as B2C markets.
- Competitor enquiries (sometimes as part of wider competitor research studies) as well as enquiries targeting clients.
We work on small scale projects for smaller clients and also manage large-scale projects and programmes for larger clients (including industry studies as well as competitor and market intelligence projects and programmes).
However small or large the client (or the job) is, Customerwise offers Telephone Mystery Shopping services of significantly higher quality than those offered by most providers (and we deliver more value).
How can we make that claim? Firstly, because it is what we’ve been told repeatedly by clients – clients who have previously used other providers. Secondly, because we offer valuable additional features not offered by our competitors.
What are the common problems with Telephone Mystery Shopping?
As of 2021, most Mystery Shopping providers seem to have managed to survive with a fairly lax approach to their telephone services. In contrast, since 2016 we’ve developed and evolved ours continuously – to improve quality and add more value, and to resolve the common and very real quality issues that clients of other providers continue to accept.
When it is managed well, Telephone Mystery Shopping is a uniquely powerful tool. However, many businesses have previously tried Telephone Mystery Shopping, and have given up on on it. And understandably so. The reason: it hasn’t delivered value for them because of key failings in how it has been managed.
So what goes wrong?
They main issues tend to include these:
- Poor quality and / or unrealistic and / or “obvious” interactions. These issues result from
- poor quality callers
- poor training, briefing, and management of those callers.
- poor quality or rigid “scripts”, and / or the same scripts or templates being re-used too frequently.
- Other “tells” that allow staff to recognise a “mystery” telephone call often before it even starts. e.g.
- The same display numbers being used again, or always being withheld
- Calls always coming in on particular days of the week or times in a month, or always being routed in a particular way.
… and more.
Customerwise has found and created solutions to those sorts of issues for countless clients.
- We use the best mystery shoppers in the county. Our shoppers go through an ongoing system of testing, training, feedback and monitoring.
- We provide the highest standard of oversight and management for client projects and programmes. This enables us to deliver the most realistic and highly relevant interactions which in turn genuinely reliable and valuable feedback to clients.
- We use a proprietary system for caller display masking and recording. The display numbers used for each and every call are unique, so staff are not pre-alerted before the call begins. Therefore, and crucially, the “mystery” element is maintained. These numbers can also receive voicemails, and can forward to real live “shoppers” where and if required.
We also provide high levels of flexibility, often dealing with complex staff targeting requirements, and multiple complex briefs and scenarios.
We’ve managed Telephone Mystery Shopping projects and ongoing programmes across a broad range of B2C and B2B industries. The following testimonial summarises some the main ways in which our service stands out.
Customerwise helped us with a particularly complex B2B mystery shopping programme for one of our large clients. They understood the brief immediately, selected 23 fantastic shoppers, arranged one to one briefings and did a fantastic job of administering the process from start to finish. Calls were routed via alias numbers to route into regional operations, they coped with fifty different complex purchasing scenarios. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are now our go to guys for this kind of work.
Cliff Burgin, Burgin Associates.
If you would like to find out more about what we can do for you, or perhaps learn about or hear from another client in your industry, please get in touch by calling 01392 984224, or by emailing email@example.com or book a discovery call.
What can Telephone Mystery Shopping really do for you?
If you’re a business that engages with your customers or prospects by telephone, there can be few things as important as the way that those interactions are handled.
Where those interactions take place by phone, high standards of call handling are essential for achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty, and for maximising sales (conversion rates and order values).
Telephone Mystery Shopping can help you to make real improvements in these areas and improve business performance.
If your calls are handled to a higher standard:
- More leads are turned into customers
- Those customers spend more
- They remain loyal customers for longer
- They act as brand advocates and help bring in new customers.
And of course, if calls are handled poorly, then costly sales leads are wasted, current customers leave, and your reputation is damaged.
The conduct of those on the “front line” of customer contact is critical and cannot be overstated. Just “OK” is no longer good enough. Customers are quick to find alternatives, and quick to share their experiences online if they are less than impressed.
Quite simply, Telephone Mystery Shopping can reveal powerful ways to improve your team’s handling of inbound calls quickly and proactively. This helps you to convert and secure more sales, and gain and retain more customers.
So, how does it work?
When it is done well, telephone mystery shopping involves intelligent, competent and well-briefed mystery shoppers calling a business and posing either as an existing customer or a potential customer.
Normally, after each call is made, a report is produced and made available through an online platform. These individual call reports usually combine answers to set questions, and commentary explaining what took place during the call.
Recordings of each call are usually also accessed through the online platform, with the file being streamable online and accessed from the relevant report. Clients are provided with direct access to the online reporting platform, which is also set up to provide summary reports, graphs and dashboards to provide the information that is most relevant to the client. Alert emails can be set up according to almost any criteria (e.g. where call reports exceed or fall below a certain level).
(Customerwise is unusual in also being able to offer call masking / cloaking as part of our telephone mystery shopping service. This can make a big difference because using appropriate “presentation numbers” or caller display numbers prevent staff from identifying mystery calls. Most Mystery Shopping Providers (MSPs) are forced to either display real caller numbers, or withhold them. Either of those options can lead to staff members identifying mystery calls, which leads to “unnatural” call handling and less valuable feedback for clients.)
Some of the main types of mystery telephone calls are as follows
Prospective customer enquiries
These calls are nearly always made to identify ways to increase sales. The possible scenarios that can be used are almost endless, but typically a Mystery Caller might:
- Ask for general advice or help in choosing appropriate products or services to meet their requirements
- Ask specific questions about a company’s products or services, or how different options compare
- Ask for a price or a quote, perhaps including an attempted negotation
- Ask for staff to help them decide between the client’s products and services and a competitor’s.
- Present an unusual set of requirements to see how well these are accommodated
Enquiries like this can help show clearly how motivated and customer-focussed your staff are, how knowledgeable they are and how persuasive they are.
In addition, sales skills can be assessed including need identification, building rapport and trust, explaining and linking relevant features and benefits to stated needs, gaining commitment, closing, upselling, cross-selling and more. Training needs can be identified and acted on to increase conversion ratios and order values.
[Read enough? If you’d like to speak to us about a potential Telephone Mystery Shopping campaign or project, please call us on 01392 984224 or email us using firstname.lastname@example.org]
Existing customer enquiries
Again, the possibilities are almost endless with enquiries that are made ostensibly from existing or previous customers.
Normally, these calls are made using “dummy” identities reflecting “customer” CRM records that are set up in preparation for the campaign. Calls can take many forms and may include:
- Requests for service, support or advice.
- Return or upgrade requests
Why use Customerwise?
We know that you have lots of choice. So, why should you contact us for Telephone Mystery Shopping?
What are our strengths and why are we different?
- We are thorough, and we engage deeply with our client’s businesses to understand their priorities and challenges.
You have a right to expect this, but the kind of engagement you really need isn’t as common as they might expect.
- Attention to detail.
Of course, every provider claims this, but so few really deliver. So how do you know which provider will deliver? The only real way is to start working with us.
(Often we will offer to start work without charge and without commitment. But before we even do that, let us put you in touch with some existing clients.)
- A combination of real-world broad business experience with knowledge of customer experience best practice and sales psychology.
We’ve consulted with businesses in countless industries over decades, in ways that have demanded us to gain a speedy but effective grasp of varied sectors and situations. We understand customer and sales focused behaviours and how they can apply in a broad range of settings. It is our speciality.
Happy clients, who achieve results, are our top priority.