by Shoppers Anon
last updated 22/09/2019
Keeping The Customer Promise
by Shoppers Anon
last updated 22/09/2019
Shoppers Anon helps franchisors and franchisees build sales and reduce risk
When it comes to protecting your brand, positioning an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is too late. ‘That’s why we’re the ambulance at the top of the cliff,’ says Ross Cohen, operations and projects manager of Shoppers Anon. ‘We can help franchisors and franchisees identify potential issues with brand standards, staff training, hygiene or safety before they become major headaches. Furthermore, through our proven ability to provide a clear picture of the customer experience, we are able to help devise strategies to retain and grow the customer base and help create stronger, more profitable businesses.’
As the name suggests, Auckland-based Shoppers Anon was founded on the cornerstones of mystery shopping and standards auditing. Under CEO Nigel Burrows, who has spent 30 years in compliance and food safety, the scope of services offered has expanded significantly and the company has become part of NSF International, a global organisation specialising in public health and safety. Mystery shopping is now part of a whole process – test, measure, train and re-measure – that can help businesses improve and grow. Shoppers can also carry out mystery shopping by phone and test online enquiry systems and responses to ensure that everything is working as it should.
The increased scope of services goes beyond brand standards to include: supply chain assurances and due diligence of all suppliers; risk management projects; regulatory guidance and global standards audits; incentives development and advisory services that can cover new ideas, environmental health and customised training.
Direct support where it’s needed
Shoppers Anon manager Donna Gower says that measuring a business from a true customer perspective should be viewed as an investment, not a cost. ‘Rather than responding to a franchise system compliance issue or a regulatory breach, we can help franchisors and franchisees prevent it happening in the first place. Franchisor teams can’t spend all their time on compliance issues during field visits, but if they have third party data on issues they can direct help where it’s most needed.’
One area critical to many franchises is food safety. ‘With recent changes such as The Food Act 2014, food safety is in the spotlight,’ warns Ross. ‘Non-compliance can have severe financial repercussions and the very real risk of ruining a brand’s reputation – and franchisees’ businesses are at the mercy of a single non-compliant operator.
‘The Sale of Liquor Act is another regulation with far reaching consequences. Franchisor teams can’t be everywhere at once to assess regulatory as well as customer service compliance. We, on the other hand, can have a compliance team of over 3,000 well-briefed and well-trained pairs of eyes and ears on the job. That’s got to be invaluable for the franchisor and franchisees.
‘Then consider the procedures, processes and brand standards developed by the franchisor. When adhered to, these are the formula for success. However, human nature being what it is, some franchisees can be lax about compliance or just think they know better. Either way, the actions of just one franchisee can impact negatively on all fellow franchisees. Whatever the industry or market, there will be competition and brand loyalty is increasingly a thing of the past. Get it wrong and customers won’t think twice about leaving you for a competitor.’
Nigel says that because Shoppers Anon is impartial, its findings are better accepted by franchisees. ‘Our objective is to provide impartial, highly-qualified results. We want all our customers to succeed and like nothing more than giving a clean bill of health. However, when we do find a potential issue before regulators or customers encounter it, the savings on penalties, sales and brand value can add up to millions of dollars.
‘Honestly, I can’t think of a single customer who hasn’t benefitted from involving us. There is little point in measuring just for the sake of it – we always work to achieve a commercial benefit for all of our clients. To help your business improve sales, delight customers and reduce risk, call Donna and find out more.’
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