Chippenham is a better place to visit and shop than it was a year ago, according to the results of a customer service mystery shopper exercise.
Eighty five businesses took part in the second annual mystery shopper experience, and were given a two-month window in which they could expect to speak to a customer who would score them on a range of criteria.
Businesses were scored on the general appearance of their premises, products and pricing, staff image, initial contact, service, sales, local knowledge, and the overall impression the mystery shopper came away with.
The programme focused on customer service, rather than the industry-specific mystery shopper programmes used by many companies. The goal was to understand the experience of a generic customer who comes to Chippenham.
Seven of the 85 businesses – Bewley & Merrett Funeral Directors, British Heart Foundation (Furniture and Electrical), Elkins Architects, Jollyes Petfood Superstore, Chippenham Museum, Platinum Mortgage Solutions, and The Citadel Hall – scored a customer feedback of 100 percent, earning them Platinum status, while 57 firms scored 85 percent or more.
Kathryn Crosweller of Chippenham BID said, “There aren’t many opportunities to be told you’re doing a good job in the world of work, especially if you work alone or in a small team, and this mystery shopper experience has done just that.
"Whatever the results each company gained, this has been a chance to stop and think about the experience a customer will get when they visit your business – and overwhelmingly the answer has been one to be proud of.”
The results overall have shown an increase on last year’s mystery shopper programme, which had the same criteria and weighting. The average score across the 85 businesses that took part was 86.2 percent - up 4.9 percent on last year’s results.
Tom Paget of Awdry Bailey and Douglas, chairman of Backing Business – the committee that funds the project – said… “Whilst large chains regularly use mystery shoppers to monitor and improve their stores, smaller businesses often do not have access to this resource, meaning they miss out on the opportunity for valuable feedback.
"It is part of Chippenham BID’s role to support these businesses by providing a means to evaluate current practices, offering support where possible and giving recognition for their success.
"Mystery shoppers are a great way to achieve this and the excellent results are something Chippenham can be proud of.”