Hiring A Mystery Shopper
One of the ways you can create customer insights is by hiring a mystery shopper to let you know exactly what experience your people are having, and these firms are worth the money. For example, let’s say there was a mystery shopper named Tia. She was a devastatingly beautiful dark-skinned African-American woman who was hired by a high-end jewelry store to evaluate their customer (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/consumer) service. Tia was excited to take on this job, but she knew that as a Black woman, she would likely face discrimination. As she walked into the store, Tia was greeted by the sound of 80’s funk wave music and the sight of sparkling jewels and was immediately struck by the grandeur of the store, with its high ceilings and marble floors.
Tia approached the first sales associate she saw, a middle-aged condescending-looking white woman, and asked if she could help her procure a pair of earrings for her upcoming bachelorette party. Tia didn’t even have a boyfriend, but she was getting her job done. The sales associate had the unmitigated gall to look Tia up and down and then said, “Of course, we have a wide variety of ear candy to choose from. What kind of bling bling are you looking for?”
Tia, who was thrown off by the elderly woman’s attempt to speak in African American Vernacular English, tried to keep a professional demeanor, and replied, “I’m not sure yet, I just wanted to take my time and have a look about.”
What Happens Next To The Shopper?
You may be worried about what happens next to our hero, and you will not be shocked to discover that Tia browsed the store and noticed that the sales associates seemed to be paying her less attention than the other customers while also following her around suspiciously as though she was about to steal something like a common gutter snipe. She was subsequently ignored and played to the left when she inquired for help from one of the terrible sales associates and when she tried to make a purchase, the terrible woman asked for her ID multiple times, and even asked Tia if she could afford the jewelry. Tia was furious, but she knew she had to keep her cool, she was there to evaluate the store’s customer service, not to make a scene. These are the things you pay a company to find out when you are trying to figure out how your business is running from the inside.
Tia filled out her report as she was hired to understand solutions for customer insights, highlighting the discrimination she faced, and suggested that the business should offer more diverse people on the board of directors so that the issue is dealt with from the top, and sensitivity training for their in-store workers. Tia knew that, unfortunately, this would hardly be the final incident during which she would face discrimination in her line of work as a mystery shopper, but she was determined to keep speaking up and making a change. Companies hired her for in-store insight and solutions to their issues, and in that vein, a consulting company that handles customer insights by hiring folks like Tia to find out exactly what foolishness is happening behind the scenes.
Can You Give Another Example?
As she walked into the hotel lobby, Tia was immediately struck by the grandeur of the hotel, with its high ceilings, gilded accents, seductive aura and marble floors. Tia approached the front desk, where a white man was waiting to check her in, and when Tia gave her name, the man asked for her ID and credit card. Tia handed them over and waited while the man checked her in. But as he handed her the key, he said, “You’ll have to excuse me for asking, but are you sure you can afford to stay here?” Tia was taken aback, appalled, disgusted and furious, but she knew she had to keep her cool so she showed her teeth in a huge fake smile and said, “Yes, I can afford it, thank you.”
Tia filled out her report, highlighting the discrimination she faced, and suggested that the hotel should offer additional sensitivity and professional education to their staff. This type of education should take historical attitudes towards African-Americans into account, and also to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for guests of all backgrounds, especially black guests. Before folks learn more online about your business, you are going to want the online reviews to be better than they currently are, which you can achieve if you hire the right firm to help you with customer insight. Tia is just one example of just how you can be helped significantly by hiring the right firm to help you.