The science to improve your SME
One of the most effective scientific methods to learn is the observation method. This is how we learn, repeat and deduce. How can scientific observation be applied to your SME?
Scientific observation has 5 steps.
- Formulate a hypothesis
- Make predictions about the logical consequences of the hypothesis
- Test your predictions with controlled experiments.
- Make your conclusion about the information gathered
Have you ever asked yourself how you could improve your business and how to do it, without ever finding the answer? We will guide you and give you some tips on how to use the scientific observation method and improve your SME.
1. Focus on observing businesses in your same field.
While it’s true that studying any SME which is having an exponential success can help a lot when it comes to learning, it’s better to go the safe route, for example: if you own a shoe store, visiting a successful ice cream parlor or a busy restaurant won’t be as useful as visiting another shoe store.
2. Impersonate a customer
This advice may sound a little unethical to some, but I assure you that it’s paramount; What better way to know how a company works than to become your client? You can take the role of a ghost or mystery shopper to do this.
What is a ghost or mystery shopper? According to Wikipedia: "The mystery shopper or incognito client is a technique used by companies to evaluate and measure the quality of customer service. Mystery shoppers act as regular customers who make a purchase or consume a service and then deliver a report on how their experience was”
3. Prepare a list of questions
As a mystery shopper you must be prepared before taking the initiative. Assuming that you’re visiting a shoe store, you can try the service of another shoe store by asking the sales people some questions to see how they respond to them. For example: you can take on the role of an undecided client, ask them to show you different models of shoes and have them bring you some to measure them. When this happens, in many cases the sales people lose patience and begin to serve the customers without enthusiasm. Observe how they react.
4. Analyze and compare
Once you’ve observed how they work and what their service is like, be honest and ask yourself: what makes us different? What are they doing better than us? What are they doing wrong?
5. Apply what you’ve learned
Make changes that you consider necessary, taking into account what you now know and observe the changes.
Tell us about how your experience as a mystery shopper was and how this helped your company.