Become Your Own Customer

There is one golden rule across all product, service and entertainment creation. The consumer is the centre of everything. If the consumers don’t have a satisfying time, then there is no longevity in the product. And that is why mystery shoppers are important. However, you don’t have to pay someone to do it for you, the best option is to get out there and do it yourself!

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The Washington Post published an article about teaching last year. Titled ‘Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns’, the article details the findings of a high school teacher as she shadows a year 10 student and a year 12 student for two days. From the entire experience she came out with three key takeaways:

  1. Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting
  2. High school students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes
  3. You feel like a bit of a nuisance all day long

These are great learnings to influence the future of education (and also have some important suggestions for entertainment . . . sitting down all day is boring!) and they all came about because someone who was working on that future became a mystery shopper.

Especially in marketing, if you want to stay at the front of customer experience trends you need to be a mystery shopper all day. Evaluate how your experience stacks up to the consumer experience of similar (and completely different) competitors. What ideas can you build on? What makes your experience different and special?

It is all good and well to get feedback from other people. But get out there yourself. Not only to take notice of other companies’ experience ideas but also try your own. Does it actually stack up from the outset as the experience that you have designed? Probably not, because things don’t always go to plan in the real world. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is important to get down from your ivory tower and become your own mystery shopper!

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