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What is Mystery Shopping
Mystery Shopping is the use of individuals trained to experience and measure any customer service process by acting as potential customers/actual customers and in some way to report back on their experiences in a detailed and objective way.
A Mystery Shopper can also be called a anonumous customer, a virtual guest, a trial customer, a test client etc. Visits can be done with many different purposes and in many different ways, test visits, pilot visits, baseline measurements etc.
Goal, Purpose and benefits
The purpose of Mystery Shopping is to define areas with a potential to improve by giving feedback on how the company is perceived from a customer’s perspective. Companies that use mystery shopping in the right way can increase their sales, satisfied customers, satisfied employees and profit.
The Anonymous Customer discovers educational needs and small problems before they expand. Employees can get feedback on how their performance is perceived from a customer’s perspective. The company receives a unified follow up of the concept and the service level, which is a helpful work tool for benchmarking and continuous improvements on all levels in the organization. Mystery Shopping can also be used for incentive programs and as a part of the companies’ Balanced Score Card.
The methods fits every industry
Mystery Shop visits can be performed in person, in retail stores, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, banks, car dealers etc. Common measurements are signage, cleanliness, product display, uniform, customer treatment and add-on sales. Most common areas for improvements are often service and add-on sales. Mystery Calls, e-mails and evaluations of web sites can be done in any industry. Mystery Shopping can also be used for evaluating delivery services.
When starting a Mystery Shopping program, the company vision, goals, standards and training programs are the base for developing a relevant checklist. The written report can also include audio and/or video recordings.