Mystery shopping is an immensely popular assessment tool used to perform consumer research. It helps in understanding the business of a particular product or service.
Earlier, mystery shopping was done to understand employee efficiency and integrity. But, in recent times, many companies are adopting it to understand their rival companies, gain business insights, understand their customer, and evaluate their staff. It also helps brands identify faulty internal protocols and how to rectify them. Mystery shopping has turned out to be an excellent market research tool to grow and understand a business.
It is often done through a mystery shopper, who is a person hired by third-party mystery shopping companies. These secret shoppers or auditors are trained to go undercover to pose as customers and assess the brand on various aspects such as customer experience, employee service, how long it takes in the billing line, the variety of products/services, etc. Later, they are given a questionnaire or a survey to record their findings. The information thus extracted helps in analyzing the brand’s marketing strategies.
Employee feedback: It helps you determine your staff’s performance, who all adhered to the instructions? What strategies are they using to deal with customers? Whether they are hardworking or irresponsible. This helps in identifying the problems and improving customer experience.
Improving efficiency: Some brands inform their staff about mystery shoppers but do not disclose who that person is. As a result, employees tend to treat every customer nicely and help them with queries. With this, you can determine which employee is loyal and goes beyond expectations and who is slacking.
Assessment of procedures: It aids in gaining helpful insight into the internal procedures and identifying the underlying discrepancies. This way loopholes can be easily curbed and new SOPs can be designed for a seamless customer experience.
Competitor evaluation: For a successful business, it is necessary to always stay vigilant about your competitors’ strategies. New brands can benefit tremendously by mystery shopping in established brands to understand where they are lacking and improve the same in their own products/services.
Customer feedback: It is regular people; hence it helps understand the brand’s service from a customer’s perspective. Their feedback can be beneficial in improving the shopping experience for all customers.
Testing a new product/strategy: Based on the mystery shopper’s response, brands can determine which market strategy is working and which isn’t. This comes in handy while introducing new schemes and offers. Their feedback determines any improvement if needed.
Compliance across all stores: If a brand has multiple stores across various regions; mystery shopping helps determine which store’s staff is adhering to the protocol. This improves brand consistency. Mystery shopping helps to identify inconsistencies and take action.
Helps in customer retention: One might think that in order to increase sales they need new customers. When in fact, they should be focussing on building customer retention. All the little changes made after gaining insight add to raising the standards of the service provided. This in turn would make customers choose your brand over any other competition.
2. Bare International
3. Floor Walk
6. Helion Research
7. Channel play
8. Albatross Global Solutions
Mystery shopping provides amazing actionable insights for all types of businesses. The response received can help in improving customer relations, acting on compliance strategies, getting feedback on staff integrity, implementing effective business strategies, and customer retention. If used wisely, mystery shopping can dramatically boost your sal