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Customers also sent to competition

PASSIVITY of shop assistants and the failure to fully tap the potential of the customer are the most common shortcoming mystery shoppers uncovered in Slovakia while sending the customer to the competition also occurs. These are some of the findings of agencies providing services of mystery shopping to companies in Slovakia, the TASR newswite wrote.

PASSIVITY of shop assistants and the failure to fully tap the potential of the customer are the most common shortcoming mystery shoppers uncovered in Slovakia while sending the customer to the competition also occurs. These are some of the findings of agencies providing services of mystery shopping to companies in Slovakia, the TASR newswite wrote.

Mystery shopping agencies register the biggest shortcoming in the effectiveness of the sales process, according to Andrea Vlčeková from Ipsos agency.

“Shop assistants do not try to find out the exact vision of the customer,” said Vlčeková. “Then they fail to choose a suitable product for the customer. Rather, they overload him or her with a bunch of information and goods, from which he or she is not able to choose.”

Vlčeková added that any efforts to offer supplementary services or obtain the contact details of the customer are also missing.

“We are still also encountering situations when the personnel recommends the mystery shopper visit the competition, behaves arrogantly or does not show any interest in him as a customer,” said Vlčeková.

Vlčeková stressed that results of undercover shopping are beneficial for the commissioner, who can find out this way whether the personnel keeps internal standards of behaviour and expert consultancy, and also for employees: to them it provides precious feedback on their work.

“The aim of mystery shopping should not be restrictions or punishments,” said Vlčeková. “It is ideal when results are linked to the whole system of increasing the quality of the company, education and motivation programmes.”

Finding out and evaluating the quality of provided services by mystery shopping is already common in most developed countries. In Slovakia, there are hundreds of active mystery shoppers cooperating with one or more agencies. Mystery shopping is used everywhere where customer come into contact with the staff, for example in the financial and car sector, telecommunications, energy, retail trade or gastronomy.

“A mystery shopper should present a profile of a real customer so that he or she is not suspected, and thus uncovered, while shopping,” Lucia Hrehovčiková from the Market Vision Slovakia told TASR.

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