By Colin Wilson

How can you be sure that your staff are following the right customer sales process for your business? Are your staff following the correct strategy and strategic alignment when it comes to dealing with existing customers, or enticing new ones? Do your staff and departments work together to exceed the customer experience and how do you measure this? Many businesses have a sales or customer service process that they want their staff to follow, but how can you be certain that they are following your instructions the way you want them to?

Many businesses invest heavily in staff training, organising staff meetings and training sessions to create great customer insight strategies, yet they fail to follow up with testing that ensures these strategies are being implemented. Larger organisations test and conduct customer surveys either through Survey Monkey, random checking, or even to the level of a NPS Survey (Net Promotor Score). We have all experienced a NPS Survey some time in our life when we upgrade our mobile phone, get our car serviced from a premium dealer, or when we book flights or accommodation. We all understand the customer experience rating process and how it works in today’s world with social media. When we consider that customers can share their views with hundreds if not thousands of people on Facebook and other social media sites, it becomes very clear just how important it is to create a good impression with your customers.

At KBA, we conduct a lot of high-end sales and customer service training. Before we facilitate a training session, we will always conduct a mystery shop for the business either over the phone, face-to-face or even online. We need to find out how good their sales and customer service process is, so that we can deliver effective strategies to the client during our training sessions. The mystery shop process does what no other quality control measure can by allowing us to respond to the business from vantage point of the customer.

Here are 3 recent Case Studies:

Case Study 1. I personally mystery shopped this client over the phone to buy one of their products, and I was eager to make a decision. The person whom I spoke to was thoroughly educated on the product and the process, including the cost for getting the product installed. The staff member’s product and industry knowledge was very high, but their listening and trial closing skills could have been better. I wanted this person to tie me down to a timeline to make a decision, but that did not happen. Nevertheless, the staff member had good intentions and sent me the proposal!

Case Study 2. In a training session with a team of sales professionals, we mystery shopped their competitors over the phone to see just how good they were in sourcing the right person with the best knowledge and advice on a particular product. We rang two of their competitors to measure their sales and customer service process. One competitor answered the phone after 8 rings and I was put on hold, transferred to the wrong person and I eventually gave up. The call to the second competitor was a good experience from start to finish, so I asked if they could put what I wanted on hold and the answer was yes. However, when I finished the call, the staff member did not get my name or details to follow up with me.

Then it was time for the big challenge: we called their company from their boardroom. The call was picked up within 3 rings, the receptionist engaged with me brilliantly in getting my name and all of my details before she transferred the call. (I know this was put straight into a CRM System). One of their call centre staff took the call and was in full control, following a great sales process that I could not get out of! It was a great result for the company and a big tick on the value of cross training and upskilling your team. The GM and Business Owner were extremely happy with the process and it sent a great message to the sales team in the boardroom. The staff member who took the call wasn’t that happy about the mystery shop, but received lots of recognition and praise from the whole company.

Case Study 3. With a new client, I mystery shopped three of their sales sites and again I presented myself as being in the market to buy. This organisation has a very good documented sales process including a CNA (Client Needs Analysis) form to follow that collects all of the client’s details and interests. From the three sites I visited, only one of the sales professionals followed the sales process as per the company’s expectations. This has given me a great insight into their business, so that I can deliver a very proactive sales training session. What I also did was mystery shop one of their competitors, and walked away with all of their details plus a business card, however the sales person did not capture my details. Learning from your competitors’ mistakes can give your business a vital advantage!

If I was to use three words to sum up these mystery shopping exercises, they would be “Know your customer“, and the most pressing question any manager can ask is, ‘How good are my staff at following the sales and customer service process?” With the marketplace becoming ever more competitive, we need to make sure our business has every staff member in every department on the same page in the way we deliver services and products to our customers.

Recently, myself and two of my team members went through an accreditation program on creating Customer Centric Cultures to ensure we help not only our business, but our customers as well. These days, it is all about having a strong Customer Culture focus at the heart of your business or organisation.

Below is an example of MarketCulture’s MRI (Market Responsiveness Index), which outlines where every business or organisation needs to focus to be proactive and stay ahead in today’s market place.

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The 7 disciplines of a Customer Culture are what large international businesses like Virgin, Amazon and Starbucks focus on, but they are equally useful for SMEs. These are the profit drivers for getting staff on board in building a great organisation. The above can be now measured through an MRI to see how your business is performing.

For more information on the above and how mystery shopping can benefit your business, contact Key Business Advisors today. We’ll show you not only what you can do to take your business from good to great, but build it to last!

Contact Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE or email info@keyba.com.au.

About The Author

Colin Wilson

My passion is to HELP grow a company’s capabilities to reach its full potential. Our training programs are tailored to clients’ businesses, as well as industry groups and franchises.

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