Is your company struggling in the aftermath of the recession? Ever wondered why certain stores you own are meeting and exceeding expectations whilst others are failing?
Hiring a retail solutions company or field sales company to carry out mystery shopping, sampling or retail audit services is a great way to solve the mystery. But with so many companies out there offering this type of service, how do you choose the right one for you?
The clue’s in the name
Well, actually, the clue is in the Google ranking quite often. Don’t dismiss a company just because they’re not ranked at the top of your Google search results. Often, you’ll get better value for money from a slightly smaller company. Look for a local company that specialises in retail audits and mystery shopping and ensure you check out their website, talk to them on the phone and (if possible) meet them in person to establish they’re the right people to work with.
It’s all about testimonials
If you can, search Google for reviews when choosing a retail solutions company. There will usually be some floating around in cyberspace, but if not, you can usually find customer testimonials on the company’s website itself. If all else fails, contact them and ask to see some customer reviews – bear in mind they’ll probably show you the most positive ones. Failing this, ask other business owners or friends and family to recommend companies they have worked with in the past.
What services are on offer?
If you’re not sure exactly what services you’re looking for, it makes sense to choose a company which offers a wide range of services. This means you can discuss your company’s requirements with them in full and find out what you might need. If you choose a firm which, for example, only specialises in retail audits, this doesn’t leave you much scope if you decide you need a mystery shopping service too and you’ll be back to square one; hunting for another firm to carry out this additional service. Keeping things simple and streamlined by opting for a firm which can provide all the services you need in one is the way forward.
Get a quote
Nowadays it’s easy to get a quote – either contact the company by phone or email, or make an appointment to discuss your requirements with them in person. But bear in mind that you shouldn’t automatically choose to work with somebody just because they offer the most affordable service. In fact, you should shortlist two to three companies and get a quote from each. Not just a financial quote, but a breakdown of the types of things they can offer your business. This allows you to compare each companies merits and services as well as what they will charge in order to carry out the work.
At the end of the day, there’s no point hiring someone if you don’t feel comfortable working with them. This is why it’s a good idea to meet staff in person before signing on the dotted line, but you’ll usually get a feel for how reliable and efficient people are even over email. If they’re constantly taking days to respond to emails or failing to get back to you in the agreed time frame, then chances are they’ll be the same once you’re actually working together. Work with a company you can trust, who will keep you updated and who are as keen to get results for your business as you are!
Delivering the goods
Remember, just because you’ve agreed to work with a specific company, doesn’t mean you can’t take your business elsewhere if you’re not pleased with the results. If you don’t like the service you’re receiving, just politely let them know. They may step up to the mark and provide you with a service that better meets your needs – after all, the business world is competitive nowadays. Or they may be happy to let you walk away and find another company to work with. You’re the customer and the customer is always right.
Choosing the right retail solutions company doesn’t have to be stressful – as you would with anything, take some time carrying out some research both on and off line and you’ll ensure you end up working with the best company to meet your needs. That means a company which charges you a reasonable rate, carries out all the services you require and does so to a high standard; meeting and exceeding your expectations as a customer.