Satisfaction Services is a leading provider of Quality and Service Evaluation Programs, a concept of mystery shopping. We have changed the philosophy of an industry that has focused on people doing things wrong into a philosophy of rewarding people for doing things right. Satisfaction Services, Inc. _
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Small things can add up to a happy, loyal customer...or lost business 

by Mike Albert

Do you know how much your customers are worth? More importantly, do your store employees and servicemen know? If a family uses your cleaning and maintenance services weekly and spends a $100 per month, they are worth $24,000 to your company over the next 20 years. Losing just 10 customers can mean losing almost a quarter of a million dollars. Since consumers do business where they feel good, the same is true for customers who routinely pick up supplies and new products at your store.

The bottom line is that a customer’s experience is made up of many small things – small things that add up to a happy, loyal customer or lost business. Because chains can no longer compete on price or location alone, customer experience is the ultimate differentiator and can mean millions to your bottom line.

It has long been known that it is much cheaper to keep existing customers happy than to do the advertising necessary to find new customers. Therefore, it makes sense to put a mystery shopping program together that gathers information from the customer’s perspective to ensure a customer’s experience is consistently superior to your competitors. A good quality evaluation/mystery shopping program can communicate to all employees the standards by which your chain expects to operate and then measures and monitors to be certain the standards are being met in all your locations or with all your service visits.

Know How Your Product Is Being Delivered

If your company is the manufacturer of the pool supplies and products, it is very important to know how your product is being delivered. Many manufacturers have us create programs for them with their resellers. It doesn’t make sense to spend big money on R&D, production,
advertising, packaging, and so forth, if you don’t know how the product is being represented and handed off to the final consumer.

Whether you create a program internally or outsource to a company like mine, there are certain elements I would recommend you include in a high quality evaluation program.

Always communicate to all employees the standards you’ll be measuring, up front. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I’ve encountered many who want to shop their employees in order to catch them doing something wrong. We’ve found that recognizing or even rewarding positive behavior makes it happen more often and is a much better approach. Many companies foster company pride and healthy competitiveness between employees by sharing company averages with individual scores and presenting year-end awards to those who consistently score high on all parameters. Making a big deal over the top performers goes a long way to communicate top-down philosophy for superior service.

Suggestive Selling

Build suggestive selling into your program. Yes, you can add substantially to your bottom line just by retaining old customers and winning over new ones with a good evaluation program. But, adding suggestive selling to your evaluation program can produce much higher gains. If your clerks routinely suggest that customers try new products or in-store promotional items, the incremental revenues can be enormous. Do you know what moving your suggestive selling percentages from eight percent of the time to 98 percent of the time companywide can mean in revenues? Do a quick analysis with your average price for some shocking numbers.

Timely data and frequency are key to analyzing the company’s performance. If you have a hundred evaluations of the execution of your process you can be pretty sure that the resulting trend analysis has accuracy. Shopping your stores frequently will ensure accurate data that will provide the actionable data to make decisions with confidence. Now, if you don’t have tens of thousands of shoppers to choose from as we do, here’s a problem you may face.

Your employees can get to know your secret shoppers and perform completely differently for them. I’ve heard very funny stories of employees using a certain code over the store intercom to alert employees that the shopper was in the building. So, you must use different shoppers all the time to ensure accurate results.

Also, timely information is important. Immediately email evaluations to your managers and employees, so the experience is still top-of-mind and the evaluation makes more sense to your employee and so that your manager is aware of any problem areas sooner.

Make Data Available

Make the program and its data available to all departments. Years ago, operations departments were most interested in creating evaluation programs to make sure all operating standards were being met. They would evaluate things like the store’s cleanliness, the staff ’s responsiveness, friendliness and professionalism – all, of course, are great to know and monitor for good consumer experience. But,
over the past few years, we’ve seen companies get more bang out of each evaluation by building in parameters that benefit every department.

Companies are now using the evaluations to monitor the execution and effectiveness of their in-store marketing campaigns. You can create the most brilliant campaign, but if it is not executed right or at all, it won’t get the desired results. Evaluations are a great way to follow up and follow through with your short and long term in-store marketing promotions.

Also, be sure that HR is privy to all data, so they have employee evaluation intelligence from the customer’s perspective. After all, the customer’s opinion is what really counts since they bring in the dollars.

Measuring and monitoring performance and the delivery of service is not a new concept. However, doing it right and consistently can mean millions to your bottom line. People shop where they feel good, and an effective quality evaluation program will ensure they feel good with



Mike Albert Satisfaction Services

Mike Albert- Founder Satisfaction Services, Inc. Customer Service Feedback Company - Speaks on Customer Service and Hospitality.

Need a motivational speaker for your convention or annual meeting - Mike Albert speaks on The Customer Experience -Please contact us, We look forward to your call: 800-564-6574


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