What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is used to help improve the customer service of a company’s employees.  Looking through the eyes of a customer helps identify specific areas of below-standard services and can recommend means of improvement.  Some criteria that can be measured are: employee’s attitude, skills, sales ability, and overall image of a company.

Mystery shopping used to be standard practice in the early 1940s as a way to measure employee integrity.  Tools used range from a simple questionnaire, to complete audio and video recordings.  Mystery shopping can be used in any industry where customer service is involved, such as retail stores, hotels, financial institutions, movie theaters, and restaurants.

Many companies use mystery shopping reports as an incentive for their employees, by giving a bonus, a gift card, etc. for a job well done.  The results can also be used to reprimand or terminate their employee(s) if a major problem is found, or simply for training purposes, to help employees improve in the necessary areas to meet or exceed company standards.

Customer service is often the decision-maker for many consumers.  If they are treated well, they will buy from the company, return regularly, and recommend it to their friends.  The opposite holds true if they are treated poorly; they may not do business there anymore and might even go to social media to post about their positive or negative experience.

Do you know how much a lost customer costs your company?  Do you know where you need to improve?  Download our free Return on Service Calculator here to determine the impact of a lost customer – and the value of keeping customers loyal and happy.

There are many types of mystery shopping:

  • Visits: A mystery shopper will visit a location and perform as a normal customer. While there, they will observe the customer service of the employee(s), making a purchase if required, inquiring about a product, etc. When performing the mystery shop, they will keep in mind the questions they will need to answer on their questionnaire.
  • Phone Calls: A mystery shopper will call a location as any customer would, get information on a product service, and evaluate the employee’s overall service.
  • Online/Internet/Chats: Shoppers will go to the company’s website to fill out a contact form asking a question, or email directly, if that information is provided. Then, they would wait to see what the turnaround time is to get a response. They could also click on a chat button and ask an everyday question a regular customer would ask. They can also look through the company’s website and answer questions based on how user-friendly it is, etc.
  • Competitor Mystery Shops: A mystery shopper will go to the competitor of a specific business (Example: Our client is ABC Bank and they would like to know how their employee’s customer service and pricing compare to their competitors).  While there, the mystery shopper will be checking the customer service of the employee(s), making a purchase if required, inquiring about a product, etc.

Why do Competitor mystery shopsCompetitive shops should be done on a periodic basis for as long as you are in business, because it’s the most cost-effective and accurate way to evaluate how your prices and services stack up against the competition, regardless of industry.

There are many other types of mystery shopping that can be done; these are just a few ideas.  For more information, you can visit our mystery shopping page!

By Jennifer Kasinger

Share your thoughts on our blog here or Facebook page.

Free Quiz 2

 

 

Want to know more? Start by defining your customer service philosophy.

 

 

 

For more information contact Amy at Amy@InsightYouCanUse.com or 800-259-8551 x220

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linked In

Fill out the form below to receive our free quiz.
×
Help improve our customer service seminars.

 

×
Fill out the form below to receive our apartment pricing.
×
Fill out the form below to receive the Return on Service Calculator.
×
Fill out the form to Inquire about Your Event.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our customer service assessment tool.
×
Fill out the form below to receive the Common Customer Complaints.
×
Fill out the form below to receive a copy of a Completed Net Promoter Score survey.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our Newsletter.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

×
Fill out the form below to subscribe to our blog.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our free quiz.
×
Fill out the form below to receive our free shopper report.
×

Cart