August 30, 2019 /
Comments Off on How Uber Eats almost destroyed a small business

How Uber Eats almost destroyed a small business

We have to be careful of the shiny new toy.

My local cafe has started doing Uber Eats deliveries.

Good for them!

Well….. not so fast.

The wait times jumped to 20 minutes and then 40 minutes.

My big cycling group worth $600-$700 per month has slowly moved to another cafe (despite many second chances).

We are (were) loyal for a number of reasons.

There’s a certain vista we were used to. There’s the food. There’s the way the the Norfolk Pine tree casts shade in summer mornings. There’s the familiarity of where we sit.

People buying online have less reason to be loyal. The emotion tugs are absent, and the business can evaporate.

All it takes is one change to an Uber Eats algorithm and it’s gone. What do you do? The shiny new object is so tempting?

The problem is that the cafe isn’t clear on its purpose. As consumers, we can feel that they are only there to squeeze money out of it. Profit is a result and consumers see straight through it.

The last section of this video explains how a small business can use purpose to inform them of what to do. Chase Uber Eats? Chase loyal customers? Or both?

April 22, 2017 /
Comments Off on You can’t watch everything

You can’t watch everything

Extract from my new Book – Mystery Shopping Mastery

Let’s start with an extract from a mystery shopping report:

The store was in immaculate condition with all the clothes put away and neatly stacked. But I waited eight minutes to be served. The staff were busy talking to each other but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I grabbed some clothes and took them to the change rooms. I was close to the staff and could overhear their conversation.

The three staff members were talking about their recent night out. One of them was getting very specific about how she got drunk and what she did with a guy she picked up at a bar.

The gutter language was terrible. Normally, I would say something, but I was conducting a mystery shop, so I kept to myself.

I stuck my head out of the change room to ask a question only to see one staff member recreating events from her night out, like a pantomime. It was disgusting. I asked for help and another staff member turned around abruptly to tell me she was busy and would be with me in a few minutes.

This type of report is shocking to a client but unsurprising when you run a mystery shopping business. In the world of customer service measurement, we get to see what really happens, whether a client likes to hear it or not. We reveal the truth.

Unfortunately, companies tend to believe their own rhetoric. They believe the stories told to them by everyone in the service chain. Anecdotal evidence seems to trump reality.

The truth can lead a company to water, but it can’t make them drink. Sometimes the truth is so big and scary that it gets either ignored or pasted over in an effort to be seen to be “doing something.”

October 06, 2016 /
Comments Off on Episode #19 Customer Service is overrated

Episode #19 Customer Service is overrated

Guess what. Customer service is NOT necessarily the most important driver of sales.

That might sound strange coming from someone running a Mystery Shopping company, but I see it time and time again. Companies focusing on the wrong things.

Sure service is important, but it’s also important to ensure that:

1) your products are on the shelves
2) the promotions are correctly displayed, and
3) that the product is recommended.

Our research shows that on average there are 53 item categories missing in a single big box grocery store.

We’ve also found that on average there are 13 categories missing from the dairy section alone.

As for recommendations, we recently did a study for a manufacturer distributing in a hardware chain, and found that their product was first recommended 31% of the time. Sounds OK, except they only have one competitor.

For complex products, consumers will still lean heavily on the recommendation.

If the product is not there, or not recommended, you’ve lost before you start.

Ask the right questions and discover the truth.