Mystery Shopping: evolving effective strategy
shopping programme consists of
visits and or telephone calls to more or less any type of
outlet, establishment or institution.
There are thousands of businesses across the UK, such as
department stores, pubs, restaurants, beauty salons, motor
dealerships, amusement parks and many others, who use mystery
shopping to monitor levels of customer service.
We use carefully selected mystery shoppers to visit or telephone your place of
business and appear as normal customers to evaluate the quality
We can reveal how fast "your" customers get served, how
clean your store is, how friendly your employees are: whatever
standards you set, we can measure your performance against
Mystery Shopping programmes are a good way to flag up areas where
training could benefit employees. Our surveys are designed jointly, with you,
exactly to fit your needs. We check to see that all staff follow your employee
handbook. We use your input along with any employee training materials that your
The key is to make the shopper campaign reflect
reality as closely as possible, because this elicits better responses
and the resulting feedback is more valuable in real situations.
It also removes the possibility of staff 'spotting'
shop in progress.
Therefore, the scenario is all-important, and should hinge upon the objectives
of the programme.
Routine enquiries and purchases are clearly more straightforward both
to set up and to measure, but by using variations it becomes
less easy for operators to 'spot' a mystery shopper.
You might like to look through the following
checklists. They may help focus your objectives. It will certainly
help us to explain how we can help to do so.
Some Typical Mystery Shopping Scenarios:
- Response to promotional campaigns
- Preliminary enquiries for product prices and stock availability, or service
costs and lead times
- Checking the buying or ordering processes
- Making appointments for services
- Checking the provision of information and complaint-handling
by Customer Services and other customer facing staff
Setting Up Mystery Shops
Once you decide to proceed with a mystery shopping programme,
a basis for assessment will be need to be established. This is used to create
the framework for an ‘evaluation sheet’ for each mystery shop call or
visit to be made.
These evaluation sheets can be stand-alone or can subsequently be used to
generate tailor-made analytical and/or narrative reports with league tables
and graphical reporting. In either case, they are prepared to help you achieve
the desired objectives of the mystery shop initiative.
If outlet staff members are mystery shopped on a regular basis, this
provides a means of monitoring, measuring, analysing and possibly even incentivising
staff improvements in their call handling/sales technique over time.
Constructive suggestions and recommendations can be dovetailed into the reports
if desired. Initially, can be best to keep the calls or visits
relatively straightforward, for both political and practical reasons.
This also gives you a chance to gauge employee effectiveness in terms of improved
performance, not only in the mystery shop scores, but of course ultimately
in improved sales levels. The bottom line ensures that your marketing expenditure
is controlled from the outset.
Ask us for a quotation, or just call us for an informal chat: we think
you'll be pleasantly surprised.