Mystery Shopper for Automotive: What to Do With the Results

mystery shopper automotive

Mystery shopping is one of the very best ways to ensure your customers are getting great service. But so often, shopped employees never hear a word about how they performed. Nothing gets fixed!

Following up with your employees and building out a training plan is critical if you want results that elevate your numbers with a mystery shopper. Automotive dealerships especially need to take this seriously as the stakes are huge, and even the smallest thing can sink a sale—sometimes before customers even make it in the door.

We’ll help you leverage your investment to start crushing your monthly sales goals. Here’s what to do with the results of your latest mystery shop.

Analyze and Assess 

So, you’ve got the results of a brand-new mystery shop. Now it’s time to look at the details and talk it over. When you analyze a mystery shop, you’ll want to look for language and tactics used by your salespeople that take advantage of every revenue opportunity, focus on customer needs, troubleshoot curveballs, and correctly set up appointments. 

This is where phone scripts can be particularly helpful. Not only do they give your employees an outline for calls and information to convey, but they also provide you with an easy reference to ensure the right interactions are occurring. 

Make notes of any deviations from the script and be sure to highlight them when you discuss the mystery shop. 

Promptly Set Up a Meeting to Review

You never want to wait too long after a mystery shop to give your employee some constructive and positive feedback. After all, they won’t know you’re the mystery shopper! Automotive sales calls happen every day, so the sooner you can connect the more likely it will be they remember all the details. 

This meeting serves several purposes, so make sure you include these elements: 

  • Celebrate success.
  • Identify areas to target for improvement. 
  • Create a mutually agreed-upon plan to bring any deficient skills or interactions up to par in a professional and supportive way.

Once you have a game plan, find some time to sit down and talk. 

Set the Stage for Growth

It’s never easy to get criticism, so always start by thanking your employee for everything they do for you. Let them know they’ve been mystery shopped if you haven’t already, and tell them what the overall result was. 

Next, cover these four areas in depth:

1. Skills to Be Developed

Deficient skills will be fairly obvious from the mystery shopper automotive rubric you’ve put together. Skills are things like basic communication, politeness, professional conduct, and correctly following the script for things like setting appointments and gathering referrals. 

Typically, correcting and improving phone skills is a matter of highlighting the issue and then practicing over and over again until it becomes second nature. Make sure you keep a log so you can review it the next time you schedule training or do a mystery shop. 

2. Highlight Tactics to Modify

Tactics can be more difficult to address because they usually involve how an employee flows from one script element to another. When customers ask hard questions, change the subject, or have very specific needs, sales associates have to pivot to the right part of the script quickly and seamlessly. They may also have to improvise, arrange a callback, or simply do their best to manage the situation without becoming awkward. 

This is where a professional training partner can be a major asset. These are typically the hardest details to analyze and coach to better outcomes, and they’re also the elements of a call that can make or break a deal in a heartbeat. A pro consultant will have a much better understanding of the specific language cues and scenarios for your people to watch for, as well as where and how to use the script—especially if they helped write it!

3. Ask About Potential Challenges Employees Face

In many cases, there are legitimate barriers to the employee achieving the progress required, and that’s OK. Everyone has certain areas they are more and less comfortable with, and individuals learn at their own pace. If there are things a team member is anxious about or doesn’t understand, you need to know so you can help them be successful.

Ask open-ended questions like, “How do you feel about [X]? Does it seem achievable? What can we do to support you?” Avoid yes/no questions, as these lead nowhere—constructive dialogue is about specifics and nuance. 

Also, this is the time to listen actively, while being receptive to whatever the employee has to say and treating it seriously. People have to feel like they are free to discuss things they think are relevant, and creating that environment after mystery shopping automotive sales team members means operating on a two-way street. 

4. Make a Plan for Success

Outlining how to improve and setting milestones is the final stage for a mystery shopper. Automotive phone skills will take time to develop, but with consistent practice and clear goals, your team will start to get those numbers inching up. And if you have a great training partner helping them, you might start seeing results right away!

A solid growth plan has four components:

  1. Specific mechanisms of action to affect improvement.
  2. A timeline with milestones to meet.
  3. Criteria for judging success or failure.
  4. A reward (This is a great chance to highlight potential individual and team bonuses that come from better performance).

Finally, when developing a plan for growth, collaboration is key; it gives the employee some control over an outcome they need to deliver. Learning on the job can be stressful, so creating an environment where people feel they can make small mistakes along the way helps ensure they will learn quickly and thoroughly. In fact, this is a hallmark of a great leader!

A Good Mystery Shopping Partner Can Save You Time!

As you can see, even something as simple as a mystery shop for one person on your sales team has the potential to take a lot of time for owners and GMs. For most automotive business owners, outsourcing training and coaching can be a real time and money saver. 

This is where Phone Ninjas excels! We perform our own mystery shops to ensure our training has been implemented, and because we know your time is valuable, we take full ownership of any necessary follow-up training in one-on-one coaching sessions with your team members. We won’t bother you at all unless we encounter a real problem, and we keep you filled in along the way so you can see the results of your investment. 

Finally, we don’t believe in being a “caters-to-everyone” mystery shopper. Automotive sales are our specialty and in our blood—our team has decades of vehicle sales and management experience, and we were founded for auto dealers, by auto professionals. 

We’re ready and waiting to take your business’s phone skills to the next level—reach out today so we can turbocharge your team’s performance!

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