Mystery shopping market research is a highly effective method of understanding your customers' interactions with the public-facing side of your business or organisation. Sometimes, excellent marketing and a well-designed store layout can be let down by a lack of knowledge amongst staff or a poor attitude on the shop floor for instance.
Mystery shopping can be used to understand and compare the level of product or service knowledge amongst staff, review sales skills, see how complaints are handled and escalated, test the procedures for carrying out a refund or exchange and a wide array of other potential transactions between customers and front line staff.
Mystery Shopping Experience
We have substantial experience in the area of mystery shopping market research, performance monitoring and service improvement. We have conducted mystery shopping and customer satisfaction projects for a number of organisations. We have a team of experienced face to face mystery shoppers who have conducted hundreds of mystery shops within various organisations across a range of sectors including:
- Chemical Suppliers and Manufacturers
- Bars & Hotels
In addition to face to face (in-person) mystery shopping, we can also undertake mystery shops through online means or via the telephone. This is often particularly useful for reviewing businesses where much of the customer interaction takes place via these channels - such as utilities for instance. Within each element, our mystery shoppers look for specific elements which may or may not be present within a face to face mystery shop. For instance, with telephone mystery shops, it is important the call-handler gives off a good first impression, and with online methods (such as email) communication should be clear and unambiguous, as there is no 'tone of voice' with which to add inflection to words which are more or less important.
When undertaking any mystery shopping project, regardless of the research methodology used, it is crucial to ensure that the exercise is an objective measurement of service. An important part of this is to make sure the mystery shoppers are the right type of people. Mystery shopping requires:
- Good observation skills (including tone of voice if not an in-person mystery shop for instance)
- Attention to detail
- A good memory
- Someone who understands the difference between traditional interviewing and mystery shopping (they are not the same!)
Our team are selected according to the above criteria and are also provided with specialist in-house training - including the ethics of mystery shopping and the wider Market Research Society Code of Conduct in general.