Mystery shopping isn't confined to the realm of consumer goods - it can benefit other industries in valuable ways. It comes down to improving customer service, thereby increasing the performance of sales staff. In the automotive industry, this is key. Salespeople that understand customers beyond theory - that is, those that have lots of real world experience - will be better able to adapt to unique sales situations. But they can't just ask a customer what they did right or wrong, which is where mystery shopping can play a huge role.
Highly valuable feedback
The responses that mystery shoppers provide are extremely valuable because they can be used in retraining programs to produce better sales outcomes. Generally, mystery shoppers will pose as people looking to purchase a new vehicle in the near future. At the dealership, they will use a passive/inquisitive approach to really gauge how your salespeople perform. They can provide feedback on how they were treated by staff, how comfortable they felt in the dealership and how they felt in general about sales process. You can use this hard data to pinpoint areas that need work, plus it can be used to highlight exceptional employees who are already doing a great job.
The input you receive from mystery shoppers can be used in tandem with other improvement solutions. For example, vAuto recommended that automobile sellers monitor how their staff members present discounts. The source said that many salespeople will immediately offer a discount as soon as price becomes the topic of conversation. By highlighting other sales tactics, offering a discount moves down on the list of responses, thus decreasing the amount of overall discounts.
Jim Bell, a national sales executive writing for DrivingSales, noted that it's important to review product knowledge with your staff members regularly. This strategy is especially useful when your dealership receives new models. Using mystery shoppers is an excellent way to test this knowledge. Are your salespeople touching on the right selling points during their conversations with customers? Shopper surveys make it easy to find out.
There's no one magic solution to improving sales, but when you have tangible feedback from real shoppers you can turn that data into an improved customer experience. Used in conjunction with other tactics, mystery shopper surveys can put you on the road to better sales performance and potentially higher revenue.