Are Your Customers All Mystery Shoppers? 3 Tips to Understand Your Audience With Better Buyer Personas

on May 26th, 2017
by Josette MIllar

Mystery shoppers are a fantastic tool for auditing customer experience but many businesses are missing the mark by sending out mystery shoppers that don't fulfill a business' buyer persona. Buyer personas are a detailed makeup of buyer behavior that provide businesses with the insight to understand what improvements they can make to increase customer satisfaction. These three tips can help businesses better understand their audience by using a buyer persona. 

Understand your Buyer Persona

Do the Research

Just like a reporter researching a breaking story, business owners need to answer the who, what, where, when, how and why of their customers to create a faithful persona. Who are your customers? What are they searching for that your business provides? How are they interacting with your business? Where do they come from? Going through a full inquisition of your customer base allows businesses to create a buyer persona that hits the key concerns of your customer base.  

Too often, businesses embrace a mystery shopper program without identifying their personal buyer's persona. Without a buyer persona, a mystery shopper program may identify basic needs, like creating a script for sales representatives or making it easier to contact the company, but it doesn't get to the core of what their customer base needs. A well researched buyer persona allows businesses to truly understand the wants of their customers and identify the places where their current model falls short. 

Go Beyond the Front Lines

Creating a buyer persona reveals a lot about a company. More businesses find that their everyday buyer isn't necessarily interacting with their company solely in-store or buying online. Their customers are interacting with the company in a variety of ways that extends beyond the front line salespeople. They interact with customer service, technical support, and social media sites. Their everyday customer is reaching a variety of people and places within the company, well beyond the "front line" representatives. 

Creating an in-depth persona allows businesses to target each branch of their customer service experience and customize it to fulfill the needs of their customer base. If sales representatives provide exceptional service but 50 percent of customers are facing a confusing online interface, focusing solely on in-store customer satisfaction is going to continue to alienate online customers. A complete persona allows businesses to target each facet of their customer's experience. 

Take the Journey

One of the biggest benefits of a business buyer's persona is the ability for businesses to understand how their customers interact with the business during each step of the buying process. From idly browsing pictures on a website to contacting the business sales line, creating a persona that replicates the journey of the average customer allows companies to target and improve each interaction in a meaningful way. 

Identifying that one-third of customers find your site using a mobile device shows the need for a mobile website. Finding that the average customer spends three minutes on hold waiting for an associate when placing an order may lead to your business expanding their call center. Without a vehicle to document these small but nagging impediments to customers, businesses can lose sales and customers. A buyer persona that researches and documents the path customers take to a sale highlights these impediments and resolving them leads to greater customer satisfaction. 

A better persona can be an integral part of a business' arsenal in providing exceptional customer service. Spending time and effort cultivating a buyer persona that adequately reflects customer's experience with the whole of the company can provide businesses with the information they need to improve their current business model.

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