What are Mystery Shopping Programs?
Mystery Shopping companies are organizations that help other
businesses (clients) measure their own quality by reviewing the clients’:
- Brand compliance
- Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) compliance
- Service Quality
- Facility Cleanliness
- Company Awareness
- Special Situations
Mystery shopping companies work closely with the clients to best determine how to measure quality and then act as an objective third-party partner, to ‘tell it like it is’.
How do Mystery Shopping Programs Work?
Consulting firms that also design and implement mystery shopping programs develop and manage extensive databases of professional “shoppers” all over the world who perform evaluations for mystery shopping companies’ clients. These professional shoppers pose as customers and behave like typical customers of the client.
The consulting firm helps the client determine measurements that typically can be measured with the data from one visit to the client’s operation by a professional shopper.
The firm then refers a shopper, and provides them with information regarding the areas the client wants addressed during the inspection.
Shoppers perform the evaluation and then complete a written deliverable setting forth a shopper’s observations and findings, which is uploaded into the consulting firm’s data platform, where it is compiled and provided to the end-client, typically via email.
The independent mystery shoppers are paid a fixed project fee in exchange for submitting detailed and timely deliverables and the consulting firm bills the client. The consulting firm will warehouse the data and their involvement with the client may be as minimal as simply providing the data to conduct on-site training based on the findings.
Why it Works
Using a consulting firm vs. an internally driven program is desirable because the consulting firm can at all times maintain objectivity and report data from evaluations completed by independent professionals evaluators without being part of any agenda. Having an objective third party to report on vital customer service issues is the primary reason to use a consulting firm.