President of Office Depot has mystery shopping experience

A few months ago, Office Depot's sales were declining at a more rapid pace than its competitors.

A few months ago, Office Depot's sales were declining at a more rapid pace than its competitors. However, customer satisfaction survey scores were extremely high, leading president Kevin Peters to question where the store was going wrong, the Harvard Business Review reports.

He decided to take matters into his own hands, and went undercover. He visited a total of 70 stores in 15 states in an effort to find out why customers were reluctant to buy despite the perceived excellent customer service.

What Peters discovered was that, while the survey scores were correct, the satisfaction metrics were off. Office Depot's scoring system asked customers questions about factors like the cleanliness of floors, windows and bathrooms. And as the news source states, how often to people shopping for office supplies have to use the restroom? Employees were more focused on perfecting aesthetic tasks rather than building relationships with customers.

Peters determined that the size of his stores needed be reduced, the in-store experience had to be improved and that workers needed to look beyond office products to provide other services customers wanted, such as installing software of fixing computers.

ICC Decision Services added that another factor Peters could've considered was customer intercepts - determining why people who made a purchase hadn't bought more.