Mystery Shopping

“How can you improve something which is neither evaluated, nor measured?”

The term Mystery Shopping refers to a qualitative marketing research, bordering on quantitative, which entails an objective evaluation made by a customer under cover of the services provided by the company under scrutiny (civility, correctness and knowledge of the employees, steps in the sale process, products offered, waiting time, environment etc.), through a questionnaire filled out subsequently or a description, according to the customer requirements and the standards of customer care excellence.

Here are a few benefits of Mystery Shopping, which will support the long-term support of the companies, in the program monitoring the service provided to the customers:

  • The possibility to see the services provided, through the eyes of the regular customers, as perceived by them;
  • The advantage of contributing to improving customer loyalty, with a high-level service, which automatically leads to boosting the company profitability;
  • Evaluation of employee performance and identification of the areas which need better focusing potentially a training course, in order to maintain high-standard quality services;
  • The staff permanently observes the internal standards and regulations;
  • The same quality standard is maintained in any of the units or the franchises;
  • The service provided by the company is assessed by comparison to the services provided by the competition, searching for strengths and weaknesses;
  • Product promotion and adequate display, at the partner retail units, with a proper rewarding system in place for the sales staff;
  • The comfort of knowing that you can leave your business on good hands and the customers will always receive quality services.

The Mystery Shopping service provides an objective and exact evaluation of the behaviours displayed by the employees while interacting with the customer.

This is an essential stage in determining the ‘diagnosis’, but it has the required impact only in an integrated monitoring and improvement system. Combine these actions with: a customer-oriented policy, a training program focusing on the issues discovered, efficient techniques to motivate and stimulate the employees (based on the quality of the service) and implementation of customer service procedures.

The Mystery Shopping-based evaluation can take different forms, the best known of which are the following:
– General or traditional evaluation – it entails the actual visit to the evaluated unit of the partner requesting this project (store, restaurant, clinic, auto service, bank etc.)
– Evaluation of the competition (of the service and prices) – it entails a visit to the units in competition with the units of the partner requesting this project. The price audit is a part of this type of evaluations and it monitors the tariffs applied by the competition or the prices for various products, at competing units.
– Evaluation of the employees’ integrity and observance of the law. A good example is verifying whether a retailer provides a receipt or sells forbidden products to minors (alcohol, cigarettes).
– Specialized evaluation – evaluation made by a specialist, an expert in the area under scrutiny. – Evaluation of choice in the hotel industry, ordered by the large international chains.
– Evaluation by rewarding – it entails stimulating the sales people in partner retail units, by offering them small rewards, in case they recommend the analysed brand;
– Evaluation by phone – as the name suggests, it is the evaluation made by phone. It can be standalone or it can precede a general evaluation; for example, a phone call made to schedule an appointment at a clinic or make a reservation at a restaurant.
– Internet-based evaluation of the service (e-mail, online) – used when evaluating e-mail communication, requesting a price offer via e-mail or launching an order, on the online store analysed.
– Evaluation using recording methods (audio or video) – it entails recording the evaluation visit, with the aid of a mini video camera, audio recorder or event phone.

Carefully select the supplier of Mystery Shopping services!

The evaluating company must have at least two areas of expertise: marketing research, in order to design and properly quantify an evaluation questionnaire, and the customer care experience, in order to properly counsel the management, in the process of setting excellence criteria, in the relationship with the customer. In addition, such a company must provide concrete recommendations to improve the quality of the services provided.

For further details, infos or questions, please contact us.