Shop for Ann Michaels
Shop for Ann Michaels
It all started With a Simple Question
As retail owners, Scott and Kathy Doering understood the importance of customer service, not only with regard to customer loyalty, but also to revenue and increased sales. They realized that employees provided excellent customer service while they were present, and wondered if the same service levels were provided when they werenít there. To answer their question, the Doerings implemented a basic mystery shopping program to visit their business and evaluate the service provided. The information they gained was invaluable. Realizing that this service would benefit companies in every industry, Ann Michaels & Associates was conceptualized.
The company started its operations in 1998 serving companies throughout the Midwest. The process was slow at the time ñ the company relied on paper and fax to complete shops. Surveys and training materials were originally mailed to mystery shoppers. At times they could be sent via fax or email, but that was rare. Mystery shoppers would conduct shops and complete handwritten reports. These reports were sent to Ann Michaels & Associates via fax or mail, at which time Account Managers needed to convert the handwritten reports into a typed format. The reports were compiled, printed, and mailed to the clients each week. While providing excellent, objective information, turnaround time was lacking. The importance of acting on issues that were in need of quick improvement was noted, and alternatives to this current system were investigated.
Automation Moves in and Changes the Industry
At the start of 2004, automation of the entire process started, providing immense improvement to the system on many levels. The automated system allowed shoppers to register online with the company, and the number of qualified shoppers quickly expanded. More importantly, the submission of shopping reports was automated, allowing for businesses to review and react to the results of a mystery shop within 24 to 48 hours. This was a great benefit to managers and company owners, as issues could be addressed and rectified quickly and efficiently. It also allowed Ann Michaels & Associates to expand their business to assist clients across North America, with a current database exceeding 150,000 shoppers. The freedom and improved processes benefited the company and the industry exponentially.
Another benefit of the automated system was the addition of interactive analytical reports. These reports are available to customers through a secure online suite that houses their individual shop evaluations and analytical reports. The user friendly, interactive reports allow customers to drill down to find strengths and areas of improvement, enhancing their current service and bringing it to the next level.
Merging Objective and Subjective Information to Maximize Success
As business grew and more and more companies understood the importance of objectively measuring service levels and employee performance, it was apparent that a broader view was needed to truly assist companies in improving the customer experience. Ann Michaels & Associates surveyed clients to better understand their needs and realized that while mystery shopping provides an objective snapshot of customer service, another viewpoint was needed for the big picture.
Customer feedback programs were the obvious solution. Taking the objective information gleaned from mystery shopping and coupling that with the more subjective voice of the customer, owners and managers were able to see their business from all aspects. The service was originally offered as a web based program in early 2006, and has expanded to offer web based and toll-free telephone based feedback programs throughout 2007.
Finally, Ann Michaels & Associates again expanded their services to allow companies a true 360 degree view of their business by implementing employee surveys. These surveys were similar to the customer feedback in that they were anonymous and could be implemented on a web based or toll free telephone format, but they allowed management to survey their employees to pinpoint potential morale issues and gather feedback for improvement.
This wide range of services has led to great success for Ann Michaels & Associatesí clientele and has positioned Ann Michaels & Associates as a customer service solution based company. To learn more about Ann Michaels & Associates, view the full list of available services. You can learn more about customer feedback services on our affiliate site, 1-800feedback.com.
Improving the Industry Through Shopper Education
As the mystery shopping industry has gained popularity, with millions of mystery shoppers entering the field, Ann Michaels & Associates realized the need for ongoing education. In late 2007, the Mystery Shopping Learning Center was launched to facilitate this need. Providing educational materials through written material and online training seminars, the Learning Center provides guidance and training to enhance the quality and performance of mystery shoppers in order to continually improve and maintain outstanding service levels in this industry. Visit the Mystery Shopping Learning Center online to learn more.
Ccmpany Growth & Associations
Throughout the last two years, Ann Michaels & Associates has expanded its operations by opening offices in Texas and California. Growth will continue over the next several years to include offices in Ohio, New York, and other major markets within the United States. For more information or to speak with a Business Development Manager, contact us via email and a representative will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your needs.
Ann Michaels & Associates is a proud member of the following organizations: The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), Naperville Chamber of Commerce, and the National Retail Federation.
Ann Michaels & Associates Corporate Office
3108 S. Route 59
Naperville, IL 60564