Mystery Shopping is a well-known method of customer research. It’s not about spying on businesses or catching staff doing wrong. It is about the experience a Shopper receives.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is a popular research method used to gather feedback of an evaluator’s experience interacting with your brand. This customer experience research method isn’t just for retail – while it’s common for mystery shopping to be conducted in-person, it can also be conducted via phone or by making online inquiries; making it a valuable resource for all industries.

Why do we need mystery shopping?

With shoppers acting as normal customers writing detailed reports about the service they experienced, you’re able to get a rare glimpse of your company from a guest’s perspective – providing you a great look at the true nature of your business you would not normally see. By using detailed feedback reports, a service improvement training program can be implemented with the proper accountability.

Mystery shopping has a number of benefits that make it worthwhile for companies to explore. Check out these top four reasons for using a secret shopping company in 2018…

1. Determining Customer Satisfaction

Mystery shoppers are known specifically for the ability to evaluate customer service, and this gives you an insight into customer satisfaction. You can find out if any employees displayed behaviors that may eventually lead to low satisfaction scores, and look for insight into how employees interact with customers when the bosses aren’t around. In determining customer satisfaction it’s easier to set a system in place to improve levels of service.

2. Getting a customer’s view of your business

Gathering your customers’ opinions while their experience is still top of mind enables you to have an objective view of your retail operation – through the eyes of a trained evaluator.

Most mystery shoppers will be experiencing something entirely new, with no biases that affect the way they see your business. That gives you the opportunity to learn what the experience is like from someone trained to give your business feedback on the way customers view the sales process. Many companies base research on the judgments made by mystery shoppers.

3. Who’s following the rules

It can be costly to your company when your employees don’t follow the rules. Most of the time you don’t know it’s a problem, until it’s too late. Taking proactive measures through mystery evaluations check your employees comply with legal guidelines and ensure they’re meeting the requirements in their customer interactions. Employees that know a mystery shopper can come to their store at any time may also be more likely to provide excellent customer service to every customer knowing that they may be openly judged by that customer.

4. Identifying and correcting problems

Mystery shopping allows you to move quickly and effectively in identifying kinks in your customer experience strategy.  In analysing the data you receive from your mystery shop, you can make meaningful business decisions to train employees in areas where it is needed – while identifying and addressing previously unknown customer needs.

Final thoughts

Without this unique customer view, it’s difficult to get a glimpse into how the company can improve. Mystery shopping is an important tool that a company can use to stimulate customer experience research and improve the performance of the company as a whole.

BARE International was born from the need for mystery customer research at the national and global level. Today, we set the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Each solution we offer is customised to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions.

Take advantage of a complimentary mystery evaluation of your business. Contact us today to find out more!

 

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