Ensuring customer service is performing to objectives isn't just for retailers. Many of our clients across the public sector utilise our significant expertise in applying and adapting the mystery shopping methodology to meet their objectives and deliver a wide range of outcomes.
Mystery shopping offers the opportunity to explore the customer experience in more depth, since the mystery shopper is aware of what insights needs to be captured from the very start of the customer interaction.
A Growing Need
Our focus on mystery shopping for the public sector has grown significantly in recent years. We have produced programmes for a wide range of local authorities and services, covering everything from parks and leisure, to projects assessing government funded help lines.
Mystery Shopping versus Customer Satisfaction
We provide both mystery shopping programmes and customer satisfaction surveys for the public and private sectors. These two types of customer service evaluations differ in their aims and what they deliver.
Mystery shopping research uses individuals trained to observe, experience and measure the customer service process by acting as a prospective customer and undertaking a series of pre-determined tasks. This gives a first-hand perspective on the customers’ experience of the service.
However, where customer views and expectations are sought, and the organisation seeks to establish how a service stacks up against these expectations without any measure against a defined and objective benchmark, then a customer satisfaction survey may be most appropriate.
Why Choose Mystery Shopping?
One weakness of using customer satisfaction surveys only is that customers are often unaware of the service standards which have been set, or which they are ‘entitled’ to. Whilst they may walk away from the service with a sense of satisfaction, this does not mean that the service has fully delivered all the benefits required to engage or connect with the service user on a long term basis.
Mystery shopping can explore the extent to which service providers are delivering to pre-agreed standards, as defined by the commissioners of the research (who have responsibility for the service overall). This information, when compared and contrasted with customer feedback and evaluation, enables us to draw correlations between levels of service delivery, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty to the service.