Mystery shopping is a method used by companies or research organisations to measure the quality of their products or services. It is also done to know if compliance is met and regulations are followed. It’s main objective is to identify the overall customer’s experience.
Mystery shopping is performed by individuals, with the key objectives to find out any loopholes and if customer satisfaction is met. So basically they are evaluating places like retail stores, brand outlets, restaurants, franchises etc. The mystery shoppers identity is hidden or unknown to the establishment being evaluated. Their tasks include purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints , overall look and feel etc. All this is done without the establishment getting to know their being evaluated. Post this they need to send a detailed report with their feedback to the company that employed them.
So basically a mystery shopper is like you or me or like any other customer. But they have a hidden agenda, which is to judge and evaluate the stores on varied parameters. These mystery shoppers are individuals that have no connection to the stores they are evaluating, hence being biased is not an option. They scrutinize the place like any normal customers and then send a detailed report about their experience. Their report also includes all the positive points, negative points, any suggestions for improvement etc. Their report is quite detailed with all attributes to improve the quality and overall experience.
For any company, they have no idea how their stores or franchises are performing. The one way to keep a check is to do an audit or inspection. But these are generally known and the stores are prepared for it. With mystery shoppers the stores have no idea when they are inspected and at what time. Everything seems normal. Hence the report mystery shoppers send to companies is crucial, as it is the only way for companies to know what a customer truly experiences. It is the way the companies know how the stores are performing and if they are keeping up to compliance, standards and regulations. It is the way to know where they are lacking and how they can improve. Hence helping companies to give better customer satisfaction and better customer experience.
Mystery shopping is the solution for any company to ensure their standards are met and they are improving constantly as per customer’s need. Hence it is the best way for companies to deal with customers and know what they expect. Companies cannot do a research on a daily basis and know what their customer needs are. Mystery shopping is the best way to improve customer performance and increase productivity.