It is every customer experience business leader’s worst nightmare; a customer service representative engaged poorly with a customer, who then recorded the encounter and made it public. In today’s digital landscape, going viral can literally boost or doom your business in a matter of hours. How can companies proactively mitigate their risk to these viral situations in an omni-channel world where customers can reach out via chat, email, phone, or even social media? The answer lies in a quality monitoring tool called Mystery Shopping.
Mystery Shopping has evolved tremendously as the interactions with customers have evolved. Moving away from the traditional brick and mortar interaction, Mystery Shopping can now be performed across any of the channels in order to identify specific areas of opportunity and mitigate risks through real-time feedback on specific scenarios that your agents may face. There is some confusion that Mystery Shopping would just replace a Quality Monitoring program, but the most effective solutions use the Mystery Shopper Tool to achieve targeted needs.
Working hand-in-hand with a traditional Quality Monitoring program, here are three needs a company may have that would be fulfilled from a Mystery Shopping program.
Immediacy: While quality monitoring provides an overview of how a customer experience program is performing, mystery shopping allows companies to receive real-time diagnostics and provide immediate feedback to agents. This helps to proactively prevent issues rather than coaching to them once they have occurred through a quality check. With many conversations between brands and consumers taking place in public places, being able to immediately identify and correct customer experience issues are paramount in a digitally dominated customer experience world.
Consistency: Even the best contact centers face unhappy customers. As customers begin to contact customer service with more complex issues, making sure agents are skilled and adept at handling each of the situations with consistency no matter who answers the phone, email, chat, post or tweet is crucial. Mystery shopping allows us to control the wide variety of scenarios that are presented to agents, so we can use the quality data to determine areas of weakness in product, process or protocol and test that specific skill until we are confident in the consistency demonstrated across agents, channels, and situations.
Specifics Risks: In industries with critical compliance needs, such as transportation, finance, and healthcare, customer interactions regularly present customer service teams with regulatory risk. Whether customers are contacting agents through phone, email, chat, or social media, mystery shopping can provide the ability to test agents’ readiness to comply with any specific regulation mitigating the risk of compliance-related fines when agents are communicating with customers. Northridge has found that a Mystery Shopper overlay program can help mitigate the risk of millions of dollars in fines.
Mystery shopping is a great way to obtain a reality check and ensure continuity between the variety of channels that customers use to engage with brands. The smartest companies adopt a view of end-to-end customer service, that includes an omni-channel approach so that all parts of the customer service machine are working well and working together.
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