What is Mystery Shopping?

Service Performance Group specializes in the development and implementation of tailored service and business evaluation programs built upon our client’s service standards. No market research initiative is complete without a thorough understanding of your customers’ service experience. Knowing your service strengths as well as your opportunities is critical to ensuring repeat sales and attracting new customers. Through the deployment of trained mystery shoppers, senior management will receive a comprehensive, objective and chronological assessment of the customer service experience. This assessment is typically used for associate standards reinforcement, targeted training toward those associates identified as underachieving, and reward and recognition for those associates identified as having performed in an exemplary manner.

Retail mystery shopping is often the most commonly known type of mystery or secret shopping. However, the majority of well-known and highly-respected brands in many other industries use mystery shopping including: restaurants, financial institutions, universities and grocery chains to name just a few.

How Mystery Shopping Supplements Online Reviews

While online reviews of products and services will provide general feedback to a business, this data often lacks the operational drill-down detail found in a tailored mystery shop program.

A detailed mystery shop focuses on the consumer’s experience from entrance to exit. Measured criteria include operational and physical plant readiness, as well as associates’ willingness to assist, ability to overcome objections, product knowledge and cash wrap. Using our detailed data, clients will have increased confidence to make decisions and take action through the use of their tailored mystery shop program—identifying strengths and areas of opportunity at the individual store, district, region, and chain-wide level. Targeted training initiatives will become the new norm instead of expensive, broadbrush training programs. A significant benefit from the delivered data will be for our clients to recognize and reward their top performing associates.

If a select number of stores, districts or regions have been identified through online consumer reviews as failing to meet management expectation, a focused mystery shop program with its inherent detail will allow management to better understand specific deficiencies and develop a clear course of action.

Improve Employee Service & Morale

Achieving employee ‘buy-in’ is critical to the program’s success. The best mystery shopping programs include employee announcements informing them of the intended roll out as well as posting of results. The initiative will create an immediate service lift as employees know they are subject to service evaluations at any time.

Establishing a Reward & Recognition program will help foster the spirit of competitiveness as stores, districts, and regions compete against one another for top honors.

Other Benefits

  • Mystery shopping uses impartial third party sources to collect, summarize and present service trends detailing strengths and areas of opportunity from which senior management can make decisions and take action with confidence
  • Most customers who have an unsatisfactory experience will not complain, they just never come back
  • Dissatisfied customers are likely to tell others about their experience, who in turn will probably avoid doing business with the offending merchant