Mystery Shopping is a way to study customer experience where individuals are hired to portray actual customers that shop at a store. Feedback is sought through these ‘mystery shoppers’ and the Best Mystery Shopping company in India uses the information to evaluate how the actual experience of the customers to the desired one is placed. The idea is to allow the company to think about the areas it is lacking and act accordingly.
Mystery shopping uses primary market research with its quantitative techniques as the mystery shopper usually has to fill out a form rating his experience. This method judges services only and is not applicable to products.
Mystery shopping originated in the period as early as the 1940s and was used for integrity and security evaluations. People were instructed to go into stores and steal products! This was to show if the staff is equipped to handle such situations. In these days of advanced technology, security cameras do the needful. Mystery shopping has grown into a customer service-oriented program.
This method is used on salespeople such as real estate brokers, business development managers, etc to check their expertise.
Besides restaurants and retail outlets, mystery shopping is used for many other services such as banks, apartment buildings, cell phone providers, car dealers, health care providers, movie theatres, resorts, etc.
Mystery shopping has changed with the emergence of the middlemen. While earlier organizations would hire their own mystery shoppers, now the management and staff were made familiar with a mystery shopper hired for a particular outlet since he or she would visit it frequently. Mystery shopping company came into being that hires several shoppers who are randomly given tasks with different clients. That way shoppers are independent contractors who look to earn some extra money.
What do you do to become a mystery shopper? It is preferred to hire people who are observant and detail-oriented. Often, a reference check is done to check the credentials of such a shopper before hiring.
Mystery shopping is used to evaluate a company or one of its outlets internally. For example, at an Mc Donald/s outlet, the management determines through this technique whether the restaurant opens at the right time; are customers being served satisfactorily during peak times; are toilets clean and hygienic; are all items available as specified on the menu, and are waiters courteous.
The sole aim of the exercise is to tell the company what they are doing right or wrong and evaluate the company’s performance.
Besides in-person / store check, the mystery shopping exercise is also done through Telephone, Website and social media, and Hidden audio/video recording
Mystery shopping is a method to gain insight into customer needs and improve in areas where a company is lagging behind. Employees’ morality and effectiveness are checked too.