The value of mystery shopping programs differs from project to project. Value depends on the extent to which a program meets its objectives and what those objectives are. However, in a general sense, the value of mysteryshopping is clear. Mystery shopping provides metrics about the customer experience, thus it provides opportunities to benchmark customer experience performance against expectations. Customer experience performance is such an important driver of profitability, supporting mystery shopping a factor that drives profitability.
The American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer, the results of which were released in early May 2011, quantifies the business benefits of good service and the penalties for poor service, providing more evidence in support of the value of implementing mystery shopping programs. Good service is not just something Americans expect; it is something they are willing to pay for. American Express says seventy percent (70%) indicate they are willing to spend up to 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service, the survey showed.
According to the American Express study, Americans are placing more and more importance on the value of good customer service while, at the same time, they believe the quality of service is slipping. Moreover, says Jim Bush, Executive Vice President of American Express World Service, "Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it's a must do. American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service, and they will also tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they will about good service. Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty."
A key finding from the American Express study reveals that 78% of customers have opted to cancel a transaction or did not complete an intended purchase because of a poor customer experience. Conversely, three in five Americans would try a new brand or company for a better services experience.
"We see the study as providing further support for the value of mystery shopping," says MSPA North America President Lynn Saladini of ath Power Consulting Corporation. "Mystery shopping enables businesses to measure the extent to which they are delivering on their brand promises through the customer experience and to identify and correct deficiencies. Using the statistics from the study, you can calculate that two otherwise identical businesses would have very different revenue pictures if one had excellent customer service and one did not. If the one lacking in excellent service was a $10 million dollar business, its identical competitor could have revenues of $10.93 million. That $930,000 revenue differential is a compelling argument for using mystery shopping to improve customer service."