28 years of Mystery Shopping in Brazil, and still going strong…

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My guest Blogger, Stella Kochen from Shopper Experience

Pay attention at this picture above!

Yes, for 28 years my hands have been taking care of Mystery Shopping .

When I first  founded the  company in 1988, reactions all over Brazil were mixed. Sentences like:

From “Wow, why didn’t I never thought about it, that’s a great idea” or  “In  Brazil this kind of thing will never work”  I’ve heard it all. The good news is: here I am, 28 years later. And in 2016 besides all the bad previsions for the Brazilian Economy, the Mystery Shopping market increases monthly!

The possibility of bringing the company’s actual customer experience through our shoppers is unsurpassed wealth.

Last week, I was presenting the results of a huge Mystery Shopping project to a client. When I revealed that only 15% of the mystery shoppers who visited all the stores were approached by sellers in less than seven minutes, I received the same old answer (actually, like an excuse, not an answer) I have received many times: “No, I can’t believe this happens in our chain”.

Throughout the presentation, with all the statistics and reports of mystery shoppers, my client had to admit: there is no Murphy’s law in Mystery Shopping! My client’s customers are not being approached with the necessary agility nor the necessary attention.

After the meeting, I decided to stop at one of my client´s store, so I could eventually feel what my shoppers had felt.

As soon as I entered, I checked in by Mobile Shopper, our app for smartphones. I walked through the store and started to make the face of desperation “Anybody here?? I need some help”. I turned my head around and nothing happened! The store was empty, the employees were talking to each other, many were “Whats’Apping“ and me, every employee “mystery shopper nightmare” (oh yes, after 28 years I became the hardest grader in the world)  seeking for help.

I decided I would change the game and I approached a salesperson. Oh no, why did I do that????? The salesperson looked at me as if I was disturbing her conversation. Am I bold or what? Obviously, I left  the store with no desire to come back.

I sent my report  to my Client in a few minutes (yes, I love the fact that technology does not makes us older, makes us faster and better) with the following message:

“Dear Client, I was in a good mood and really wanted to buy something in one of your stores, but your team didn’t feel like selling today…”

Let me be short: yes, it happened to me exactly what had happened to my mystery shoppers. Can you imagine if we extrapolate this event to the universe of customers entering the Customer stores throughout Brazil? The damage, the lost sale multiply infinitely!

For these and other, I say: Mystery Shopping  never goes out of fashion! Or if I paraphrase Barry Manilow in Copacabana: “Good service and passion are always in fashion!”

Regards to all from Brazil! I will always be madly in love with Mystery Shopping!

stellaStella Kochen Susskind

CEO and Founder Shopper Experience Brazil

MSPA Latin America Founder and First President

 

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