How Will You Know?

How Will You Know?

by Danny Summers

These are your customers or guests in the coming weeks.

How will you know... what they are thinking?

Sure, you or your team will hear their questions, see their reactions, but how will you really know their thoughts about your Center, and most importantly, their experience there?

If you stop and ask your team what your guests are thinking most likely it will only be "a gut feel."

You have 2 options...

First – ask them. Ask your guests.

Second – position your Center to address the many things that can lead your guests to have their best experience.

Let's consider the Second one first. This is where you should start anyway. Let's face it, if you don't address the many things that can lead to the best experience, actually having the best experience is unlikely. Make sense?

As a member of The Garden Center Group, you have an excellent starting point for assessing your Center's ability to impress your guests... it's The Group's Mystery Shopper Program. It has been crafted and refined over its 22-year history and nearly 4,000 shops.

This is not simply a sales pitch for you to place your Mystery Shop Orders for 2024 (although a good idea anyway)... but you have access to a sample Mystery Shopper report in our WebSystem and that is an excellent guide to help make many of the needed changes in both your facility and your team's normal guest-facing procedures. Here are the 5 major areas the Mystery Shop Report evaluates:

  1. Telephone
  2. Appearance
  3. General Employee Attitudes and Skills
  4. Specific Employee Attitude and Skills
  5. Purchases

Each of these areas contains several points to consider and evaluate. For instance, Telephone has 13 specific areas to consider just in its section. The shop begins with a phone call before the actual visit to inquire about a product. How your Center answers the phone call and responds to the guest's inquiry can make a big first impression.

Appearance has 21 specific areas to consider. This begins when they arrive in the parking lot, continues as they enter your Center, and then throughout their shopping experience.

The two Employee interactions (General and Specific) capture how your team greets and responds to the guest, both in general as a whole as well as individually as any single team member assists the guest. General Employees has 10 specific areas to consider, and Specific Employee has 12.

And then there is the Purchase section which has 16 specific areas to evaluate. This begins with the ease of checking out, continues with condition and appearance and efficiency of the checkout area and process, and concludes with the cashier engagement experience. This is the final opportunity to create the best experience for them.

To Shop... or Not

Obviously, having an active Mystery Shopper Program over a period of weeks throughout the year helps position your Center through a continual improvement effort to be its very best. But, simply utilizing the Sample Mystery Shop Report and working through it with your team to consider the 5 major areas as well as 72 specific things to consider, evaluate, and adjust, can get you well on your way to creating the very best experience for your guests.

And creating the best experience for your guests will help create life-long customers and raving fans. Sounds like a great plan doesn't it?

So... How will you know?

The Group's Mystery Shopper Program is waiting. Login, go to the Clients-Only Menu and scroll down just past Power Tools to The Group's Mystery Shopper Program. Need help or have questions? Give me a quick call, text or email.

Let's make sure your guests have their best experience at your Center!


Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

Share this post:

Comments on "How Will You Know?"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment