Why the Customer Isn’t Always Right

The Customer is Always Right Sign Why the Customer Isnt Always Right
It sounds so strange to say when you’re dealing with customer service and mystery shopping, but there are times when the customer just isn’t right. There are instances wherein bending your will to an unhappy customer will actually do more harm than good because your business model shouldn’t change to accommodate one individual. Likely you’ve heard the opposite of this your entire business career, but there are distinct reasons why doing so could be detrimental.

Employee Happiness

A good employee means a good customer service reputation, right? When you have an employee that is disgruntled, or doesn’t enact your aspirations as a business, chances are that they are improperly representing your company and therefore hurting your customer service. This is because they lose respect for ownership, they don’t feel like they need to enact any processes that you may have designed, and ultimately they do not feel the need to please the customer because the customer will ultimately get what they want anyway.

Let’s say you have one customer come and complain about their experience from beginning to end. They may have a legitimate cause to have irritations, but if they are perceptions that stem from having a bad day, they can skew the true meaning. It’s times like these that you may feel like accommodating them, and giving them everything they ask for. This demeans your employees, and completely overvalues the customer. In a scenario where you listen to the customer, but don’t bend yourself completely, you’ll keep your employee happy because it shows your trust in them. A happy employee will in turn treat future customers as you want them to. You need to have your employees’ backs when dealing with improper clients, because at the end of the day, only one of them is key to the success of your business’ image.

The Right Customer

An outspoken and irritated customer is always easy to spot, because those who fall into this category often want to let everyone else know that they were displeased with your business. While you shouldn’t ignore complaints, completely changing your tactics to fit that irritated client can speak volumes to your other customers, while also empowering the negativity. When a customer sees that you’re willing to say “The customer is always right” they will tend to take advantage of the situation. After all, they aren’t wrong, and therefore can trap you into a scenario where you can never please them.
Undivided attention to an upset customer can tell your “good” customers that their opinions don’t matter as much. They offer just as much input, they just typically aren’t as vocal about it. Try not alienate your good customer base for the sake of one bad egg. Again, it’s best to not ignore irate clients, but rather just try to rein them in as best you can. They aren’t always right, but they can be shown why things are run the way they are run. If the response from them is completely negative, then they aren’t the sort of customer that you need to be reaching out to anyway.

At Shoppers’ Critique, we’re always trying to find the best way to improve your customer service, and sometimes we want to let you know that the traditional ways of thinking may not be correct. The old phrase “The customer is always right” has good merit, but if taken too literally it can spell disaster for your business and subsequently its customer service reputation. Always listen to your customers and your employees. A perfect balance of trust and respect between both parties is the best way to have great customer service. If you’re needing an unbiased perspective on your current customer service, call us for some great mystery shopping tools.

Read more about mystery shopping in this article if you’re curious about the process.

Social Networks Indicate Customer Service Success

94ECC22D723D41CE53847F6A2933BE Social Networks Indicate Customer Service SuccessIn the ever changing world of business and customer service, there are always new hurdles to stay above when trying to keep up relevance. Social media is a constantly growing entity that should always be the focus of any business. Mystery shopping has even taken a turn towards social media as it gives them the opportunity to see a company how everyone else sees them. In essence, the social media platform is an extension of customer service.

We’re here to tell you that the most important aspect when dealing with your social media channels, and subsequently your customer service reputation, is staying timely. Response time of a business weighs heavily on whether you retain customers, because after a week of not hearing a response, the customer has typically moved on to a different place. So stay on top of your online interactions, because as social media grows, so too will the need to be timely.

Another aspect to take into consideration when dealing with an online world is complaints. Every company gets them, but dealing with those complaints is the critical part. Simply responding to an issue that a customer has can drastically improve your appearance to both that person, as well as any other who can see the communication. It shows a level of concern and care that the consumer might need.

Mystery shoppers can use those social media networks as a guideline to view the business before going into the location. It is essentially building a dataset beforehand, which then allows them to take their unbiased opinion of both the online representation and the in store presentation of your business. They do not stand out when entering your business, so these shoppers can give you the best image of your company.

Combining the in store behavior, and the out of store reputation, every company can become successful. It’s just a matter of staying timely and being positive. So use your social media channels to the best ability, because they are a vital part of your customer service reputation.


For more information on social media and customer service, Click Here.

The Importance of Your Focus On Customer Service For Your Marketing Strategy

happycustomersmaller The Importance of Your Focus On Customer Service For Your Marketing StrategyAny successful company cares about their customers. Those companies that keep their customers happy have always been more prosperous than those businesses who do not. Few companies are able to reach a point where they have a reputation for excellent service. Mystery shopping is a huge part of ensuring honest feedback and opening up the doors for improvement.

When going after that goal of achieving excellent customer service, there are a few key things you may want to keep an eye on.

First, make sure that all of your employees know the importance of customer service to your business, and make this knowledge universal across every department. There are a lot of instances where some employees are not trained in customer service as well as others. Your customer will really only feel as though they have received excellent customer service if all areas of their experience reach the same threshold of excellence.

Second, be careful with how you reward your employees. If your employees paycheck relies on their ability to push sales, that will greatly take away from their ability, and also their desire, to push good customer service. It is important that your employees can relate the importance of customer service to the importance of overall sales for the company.

Third, give your employees the ability to resolve problems without dealing with a supervisor. When a problem is resolved without a supervisor’s assistance, your customer has a greater feeling of satisfaction. Customers who had a small issue that was quickly resolved, often times reported a higher level of satisfaction with a company than a customer who had no problems at all.

Listening to your customers, and taking their feedback to heart for your own business improvements is crucial. Mystery shopping gives you a way to see how your employees treat customers in an unbiased way. This should not be overlooked by any business that has hopes of seeing a successful future for themselves.

Automotive Mystery Shopping For The Business Owner

auto mechanic Automotive Mystery Shopping For The Business OwnerIn today’s competitive automotive industry it pays to capitalize on every sales opportunity, in person, on the phone or over the web. Achieving maximum revenue from your sales team and customer loyalty with a first class experience is what Shopper’s Critique International can do for you. With over 40 years in the business of gathering customer data in the automobile industry, we have the tools to help increase sales and trouble shoot problem areas. Our services cover over the phone, internet and in person critiques on a client’s current set up with recommendations for improvement and comparisons to competitors’ business.

Phone shops are used throughout the industry to gain interaction with the client’s sales associates and customer service representatives to gain feedback from your customers on their experience with your establishment. These calls are often recorded to use as training tools for your employees and to retain information. Responding to your customers in a timely manner, being courteous, asking probing questions, suggesting solutions and asking the caller for the sale, all mark a well trained sales associate.

Internet shops are used to measure the responsiveness of your company’s employees to on-line inquiries. A hit on the “Contact Us” page on your web site is a potential customer you don’t want to ignore. Shoppers’ Critique International has proprietary software that tracks the date and time placed and responded to links for your “contact us” page. This tool allows the client to see how your employee responds to the inquiries coming in. Retailers with on-line shopping can use this to get customer impressions on the website, the sales process, and the delivery flow. Strengthening any weakness you have in your online presence is the key to helping drive sales.

On-site Mystery Shopping is used to give our clients an objective look at their overall operation. Gaining an unbiased look at your location, the employees, and the customers that shop there, is invaluable to running a good business. Having an inside look at your business practices and possibly your competitors can provide you with the knowledge needed to improve your sales.

In the automotive industry you want a friendly and knowledgeable sales staff and service department that know the automobiles you carry. Their goal should be to retain you as a customer and to get you to share your experience with others to increase sales. All of which will tie back into your phone and internet feedback. Mystery Shopping is about collecting data and that is what we do best.

What You Should Know About The Mystery Shopping Industry : The Business

Shop Owner auto What You Should Know About The Mystery Shopping Industry : The BusinessEach day when customers and clients come to your business establishment, they get services or products as they may deem fit for them. Have you ever wondered what they thought of the quality of the products or services they purchased? Do you know how much such impressions can mean to your business? Well, the truth is that as a company, you need to know how customers rate your services and products to be able to stay ahead of your competitors. This, really, is what mystery shoppers offer.

Mystery shoppers are average shoppers who go about their usual life and will no doubt be interested in your car dealership, stores, restaurants, amusement parks and several other business establishments. Depending on the products or services you would like to get feedback on, Shoppers Critique International avails to you the mysterious shopper who will be able to provide this. Usually, the company avails contractors who are particularly interested in the operations your business offers as this is the best way for them to give good feedback. These services are available for all those businesses spread in North America.

Perhaps the beauty of these mystery shoppers is the fact that they do not come into your store or restaurant and call attention to themselves. They are just like any other regular customer and for this reason, will give you the truest picture possible. Moreover, they will also concentrate on the particular aspect of your business you want feedback about.

With the mystery shoppers , you can be sure to know all the areas through which you can enhance your business.

What You Should Know About The Mystery Shopping Industry: The Shopper

how to start a mystery shopping company in 5 steps What You Should Know About The Mystery Shopping Industry: The ShopperDo you have a favorite store you like to shop in? Have you ever asked yourself why you like shopping there as opposed to the other stores that offer the same products? In today’s market your shopping experience from the parking lot to the restroom has become the stores top priority to stay ahead of its competition, with little effort you can be compensated for your opinions. And it’s not just stores that are looking for your opinion, it’s amusement park, theaters, sports arenas, car dealer’s, service industries, restaurants, the list is endless, if you, the consumer use it, the retailer wants to know why, and how to make the experience better.

Our world today is a social media frenzy. If you enjoyed a night out at “Joe’s Burger Barn”, you’re posting pictures of your meal and telling everyone how good or bad it was instantly. You’re sharing with your friends what a great deal you got at the store on a new TV or what a terrible experience you had with the plumber you hired to fix your drain. What if you could get reimbursed for your opinion on any number of things you do while going about your everyday life?  hoppers’ Critique International is always looking for independent contractors that like to “shop”, have good writing skills, and are self motivated. Their client’s are diverse and are located all over North America if you fit the customer profile and live close to a needed locations this could be for you.

While this may sound like a simple enough job to take on and make some money, there are specific guidelines to follow. Every client has their own needs and what they’re looking for. They may only want to know if you were greeted as you entered the store or how the entree’ was at dinner and not care about dessert. Each assignment has its own instructions and you should only sign on for the ones you can handle and follow through with on time. If you don’t complete the assignment to the clients spec’s you may not be compensated for it. Just like any good employee you need to make your employer look good and the client happy. Don’t take on an assignment that you can’t handle. Make sure you know when the place on assignment is open and if you can complete it within the time frame given. It also helps if you look like the average Joe and not someone that draws attention to oneself. So don’t go walking in with a clipboard and a name tag. Remember you are “undercover” on a specific assignment.

Shoppers’ Critique Hires New Project Manager

Leading Customer Intelligence and Marketing Agency Adds Leslie Allen to Augment Superior Customer Service

(Longwood, FL September 25, 2013) Shoppers’ Critique International, one of America’s largest and oldest customer intelligence agencies, announces the addition of Leslie Allen as a Project Manager as part of the company’s restructuring of its core business operations to provide better consultative services to its vast national and international client base.

We feel like we’ve hit the jackpot in welcoming Leslie Allen to our SCI family, and all the winnings will be accrued to the benefit of our clients, commented Shoppers’ Critique International’s Chief Operating Office, Rich Bradley. Leslie brings the right amount of experience, enthusiasm and creativity to help us construct and deliver an unparalleled level of customer service and value to our clients as we prepare Shoppers’ Critique International for our 43rd year of helping the world’s brands, large and small, to maximize their market research goals as they increase market share and bottom line revenues.

Originally from Georgia, Allen joins Shoppers’ Critique after recent tenures with the YMCA of Central Florida, and with her alma mater at the Georgia Southern University Housing Division, where she had graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology. Leslie brings to Shoppers’ Critique extensive research experience, including a number of studies considering the effects of customer bias, stereotyping, and marketing stigma. She recently engineered a major three part research study which considered the many effects of image cognition on human response as well as the fluidity of perception regarding the ideals that humans hold most closely. She has experience with all parts of the market research process, from client counseling to form production, to data collection and analysis.

I’m so excited to bring my expertise to the SCI team, said Allen. I am thankful for the opportunity to consult with SCI’s fantastic and reputable client base, as we explore ways to close the gaps between customer and company by employing the latest and best industry measurements, analysis and training.

Allen joins long-time SCI Account Supervisor Cricket Truax as the first Project Managers in the beta rollout of Shoppers’ Critique’s new program to provide high level industry consultative services as part of the b2b relationship that the company enjoys with hundreds of customers from dozens of industries. In the initial rollout, which has commenced in mid-September, Leslie will work closely with the numerous clients in SCI’s Retail and Attractions portfolios.


About Shoppers’ Critique International

Shoppers’ Critique International is one of America’s largest and oldest customer intelligence companies. Based in suburban Orlando, Florida since 1972, the customer service capital of the world, SCI has developed a legacy of providing the nation’s top corporations with reliable and insightful measurement metrics, analysis and assessment and re-directional training across dozens of industries. A charter member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, Shoppers’ Critique captures the customer experience for its clients, delivering the highest quality, most credible information in a timely manner, as well as actionable solutions to maximize customer retention and revenue growth, providing an unparalleled return on investment.


Shoppers’ Critique Restructures Business Model

Leading Customer Intelligence and Marketing Agency Modifies Structure for Better Customer Service

(Longwood, FL September 25, 2013) Shoppers’ Critique International, one of America’s largest and oldest customer intelligence agencies, announces the restructure of its core business operations to provide better consultative services to its vast national and international client base.

In a slow phase-in, Project Managers will become the primary contact for all clients except for Internet shops and phone shops in lieu of the current structure of Account Supervisors. The differences in the new model is that Project Managers will not be burdened with editing, publishing and other paperwork so they may spend more time studying industry and market trends in order to provide a higher level of context to client data, and so they may serve in a role more akin to an industry consultant, in addition to being the clients’ ambassador at the SCI corporate headquarters.

Our industry historically sells product, explained Shoppers’ Critique International’s Chief Operating Office, Rich Bradley. Since I came to SCI over three years ago we have been assessing and recommending solutions, and not simply hawking wares. This is the next evolution in providing the highest level of customer service available in the fields of customer intelligence, market research and mystery shopping.

In the past Account Supervisors were also tasked with tactical duties, including the editing and publishing of client data and evaluations. These duties will now be assigned to wordsmith professionals who will work exclusively on these functions. The new Project Managers are then freed up to study industry trends and trades, attend conferences, conduct periodic reviews of client services and data indicators, and work more collaboratively to help clients maximize their research investments, focus on competitor and industry trends, and interpret data and baselines in a productive manner to maximize efficiencies and grow the bottom line.

So now we aren’t just servicing what the client requested, but we are knee-deep in their world in order to provide maximum context for the data that they receive, as well as counsel them on how to maintain a competitive edge in their industry based on the customer intelligence that we mine for them, and relative to their industry in general, continued Bradley.

Cricket Truax, a long-time veteran of Shoppers’ Critique International, and recent SCI addition, Leslie Allen, are the first two Project Managers assigned to launch the new program, which shall rollout through the end of 3rd quarter and early 4th quarter 2013.


About Shoppers’ Critique International

Shoppers’ Critique International is one of America’s largest and oldest customer intelligence companies. Based in suburban Orlando, Florida since 1972, the customer service capital of the world, SCI has developed a legacy of providing the nation’s top corporations with reliable and insightful measurement metrics, analysis and assessment and re-directional training across dozens of industries. A charter member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, Shoppers’ Critique captures the customer experience for its clients, delivering the highest quality, most credible information in a timely manner, as well as actionable solutions to maximize customer retention and revenue growth, providing an unparalleled return on investment.

Many Retailers Lagging in Social Media Responses to Customers’ Issues

By Rachel Farrell | Posted:July 12, 2013 on www.prdaily.com

If you’re among the 50 percent of U.S. online retailers that use social media for customer service, stand up and take a bow. If you take longer than two hours to respond, though, you probably should sit back down.

About 80 percent of top 100 U.S. online retailers are using Twitter and Facebook to respond to consumers, but according to a new study from Conversocial, the response times don’t satisfy customers.

The average response time across all 100 retailers is a sluggish 11 hours, 15 minutes but more than 50 percent of consumers expect to get a response in less than two hours. The best response time clocked in at nine minutes; the worst was 50 hours. (Yes, more than two days.)

The study, based on overall performance factoring in six categories of social media customer service, found that on average 13.8 percent of complaints or questions garner responses. Three companies: Netflix, Amazon, and Sony hawoman at computer 4sg6 150x150 Many Retailers Lagging in Social Media Responses to Customers Issuesd response rates of more than 90 percent.

Many of the retailers analyzed are not using social media to fully resolve customer service issues, and instead are redirecting consumers to other channels such as phone banks or email. But 65 percent of customers say first contact resolution is the most important part of a good customer experience.

Deflecting customers who’ve come to your Facebook or Twitter feed after they’ve exhausted other options will probably create a public backlash, with customers threatening to take their business elsewhere.

More than 25 percent of customers actually change companies because they’re getting shuffled around among too many representatives, according to the American Express Customer Service Barometer.

Remember: Customer service on social media is public. Anything you say and how quickly you say it can have a major effect on your band, so make sure your company’s social media channels are staffed with qualified customer service agents.

You can download the full study here.


40% of Consumers Show Loyalty Regardless of Deals

lobster 150x150 40% of Consumers Show Loyalty Regardless of DealsMay 23, 2013

More than forty percent of consumers say they are loyal to their favorite restaurants and will go there whether or not the establishment has a promotion, reports The NPD Group, a leading market research company.

And although there are still more than one-third of consumers looking for bargains when choosing a restaurant, this large group of loyal restaurant consumers defines value as more than price, according to a recently released NPD foodservice report.

Quality is a key driver for the loyalist restaurant consumers, and quality remains the most important value driver for most consumers when choosing restaurants; even bargain hunters want quality for the price, according to the NPD report entitled Defining Value Today: How Consumers Choose to Eat Out.

Consumers choosing where to dine is subject to some of the same pricing and deal pressures as other retail categories, but there remains large segments of the population for whom value is much more than the lowest prices, says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. Given this, operators will want to execute different marketing campaigns to appeal to a broad base, while remaining relevant to those seeking out the lowest price and best deals.

Original Article at QSR Magazine