How to build loyalty and drive profitability with regular customer reviews (aka mystery shopping)

Customers or clients are the people who decide whether a business will succeed or not. Meeting these stakeholders' needs is critical to building loyalty and driving profitability but to achieve this you must investigate the customer experience.  

No matter the sector, keeping clients is crucial to improving the bottom line, especially in such a competitive market. Therefore, delivering a positive customer experience (CX) should be every business's top priority.  

Positive customer experiences not only make your customers or clients happy but also increase the likelihood they will return, leave a positive online review, or recommend you to others. However, you would be surprised how many firms do not ask for feedback, or worse still, fail to act upon it.  

Businesses looking to grow must focus on understanding the experience they provide through the eyes of their customers or clients. 


"Businesses looking to grow must focus on Tweet: understanding the experience they provide through the eyes of their customers or clients," says @GrahamHillCX of #CX Specialists @insight6CX 

Historical research shows that 80% of companies say they deliver 'superior' customer service. Yet only 8% of customers of those companies thought the same. Moreover, people that have had a bad customer service experience do not complain, they simply walk away. 

The value of existing customers to profits cannot be overestimated. The cost of gaining a new customer is five times the cost of retaining an existing one! ​​Repeat customers deliver more top-line revenue, they cost nothing more to acquire and so a greater proportion of that revenue finds its way to the bottom line. 

Consequently, knowing how your customers or clients feel about your company, the products, or services you provide, as well as the experience they receive is essential if you are looking to build loyalty and drive profitability. 

Customer Experience Reviews (CX Reviews), more commonly known as Mystery Shopping, is one of the best ways to test the service a company provides through the eyes of its customers or clients. 

What are Customer Experience Reviews?

Customer Experience Reviews, aka Mystery Shopping, enables you to collect valuable information about a service delivered. When conducting a review, a mystery shopper or researcher will record their experience while pretending to be a customer or client, during interactions with your staff or online. 

Although Mystery Shopping is often associated with the type of CX research employed by businesses in the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors, it is a valuable exercise for firms in any industry keen to up their game and profits. 

Poor customer service received at a key touch point of the customer journey can easily throw away sales opportunities. Our market study of how the professional services sector handles new enquiries, revealed many areas where accountancy, financial service, property, and legal firms are losing potential revenue. 

Why undertake Customer Experience Reviews?

Customer Experience Reviews supply an exact view of your business from your customers' or clients' perspectives because they are carried out by a third party. Getting an independent assessment of the 'real experience' is critical to understand what you are getting right and find areas for improvement. 

You can use Customer Experience Reviews to evaluate the quality of your service or robustness of your processes and even obtain a benchmark against your competitors. As a result, you will be better equipped to find opportunities for improvement to increase customer loyalty and drive profitability. 

Engaging your employees is also critical to business success. Happy and engaged staff will always go the extra mile for your customers or clients, thereby delivering superior customer service. The one simple (but essential) thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement is regularly check in on staff wellbeing. 

How to conduct Customer Experience Reviews?

Customer Experience Reviews are a great starting point in your customer experience improvement process. But it can be a complex and emotive process for everyone involved. Having an ill-thought-out customer experience strategy can be more damaging than not doing Customer Experience Reviews at all. 

Managing and implementing feedback is a crucial part of the process, therefore employing the right Customer Experience partner is imperative. The entire process must be carefully considered, ensuring that goals are set from the outset and reviews and feedback are managed by a skilled team. 

At insight6 we understand that feedback is data, not judgement. We design and deliver some of the most advanced feedback programs and are the only CX specialist consultancy in the UK with local experts on the ground. 

 "Feedback is data, not judgement," says @GrahamHill of #CX STweet: pecialists @insight6CX when talking about #CustomerExperience Reviews (aka mystery shopping) 

A one-off Customer Experience Review program supplies a snapshot of your business and the experience you provide at a particular point in time. To embed change in your company, build loyalty and drive profitability you must conduct reviews regularly, consistently asking for feedback and acting upon it. 

How can insight6 help with Customer Experience Reviews?

At insight6, we have transformed hundreds of businesses, helping them to implement a robust customer experience strategy and deliver a superior customer experience. 

With a team of professional researchers trained explicitly for each sector, and our sophisticated feedback system, we conduct complex and detailed enquiries to simulate and evaluate real customer or client experiences. 

Our six-stage model is designed to find issues, challenges, and opportunities, help you to gain buy-in from key decision-makers and your employees, and to develop new strategies, and analyse progress. 

Below is an overview of our six-stage model to build loyalty and drive profitability with regular customer reviews. 

1. Set up for success 

The first step is always to understand your desired outcome and agree on the objectives. Doing so allows us to explain how we plan to measure and report against these goals. Then, we create a communications plan and share it with your management team and staff to get their buy-in, helping them understand the aims behind the customer reviews research and inspire them to take part in the process. It is vital that from the beginning, your employees are onboard to ensure their voices are heard. 

2. Build a recognition plan 

The feedback you receive will highlight how your firm and staff are performing, finding areas of excellence and those where improvements can be made. Many firms find it challenging to communicate this type of feedback internally. Therefore, using an external, no-bias company like insight6 is a wonderful way to manage feedback to keep teams engaged and motivated.  

 3. Prepare for launch 

For staff, a Customer Experience Review or Mystery Shopping exercise may seem overwhelming. Nobody likes thinking they are being checked up on! That is why we always carefully plan for the emotive side of the process to take employees on the journey with us to protect their mental wellbeing and productivity. 

 4. Briefing & reporting 

Each business industry has different demands and challenges. Our researchers aka mystery shoppers are professionally trained, so they have the ability and resources to test even the most complicated scenarios. We work with you to build a bespoke reporting process, ensuring questions are weighted to support specific aims or feed into balance scorecards. 

5. Carry out the reviews  

Depending on your business, your Customer Experience Reviews can be performed online, over the phone, or in person. Once completed, we will provide you with a detailed report on the feedback received. 

 6. Make a plan 

Based on the findings, we will give you our recommendations and help you create a plan to implement any changes needed to improve the customer experience. Working with you we will embed a regular review process, consistently reviewing and reporting on feedback to ensure your business delivers the best possible customer experience. 

Remember, a one-off Customer Experience Review program supplies a snapshot of the experience you provide at a particular point in time. To embed change in your company, build loyalty and drive profitability you must conduct reviews regularly, consistently asking for feedback and acting upon it. 

 At insight6, our unique and tailored solutions allow businesses to transform their customer experience cost-effectively, from end to end, with the dedicated support of a local expert. Get in touch today to find out more or to discover how insight6 can help transform your customer experience.  

 Like what you have read? Sign up to the insight6 newsletter to keep up to date with everything you need to know to improve your customer experience. 

Have you ever thought about being a Mystery Shopper?

We are always on the hunt for researchers aka Mystery Shoppers to add to the insight6 team. If you like the idea of helping businesses improve their customer experience, we would like to hear from you. Apply today to join our Researcher and Mystery Shopper team. 


Graham Hill

Find me on LinkedIn 


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