Understanding mystery shopping
Mystery shopping is a form of qualitative research designed to optimise sales conditions. Typically, management provides guidelines to employees on how to engage with customers effectively and build trust. We all know that employees play a significant role in shaping a brand’s image. Therefore, it’s imperative to assess the quality of their interactions with customers, and mystery shopping is an excellent solution. But what exactly is it? Mystery shopping involves an undercover auditor assuming the role of a potential customer, visiting your establishment, and pretending to be interested in your services. During this assessment, the following crucial aspects might be evaluated:
- Store presentation and cleanliness.
- Product advertising on sales platforms.
- Building customer trust and encouraging service utilization.
- Warm greetings and overall employee demeanor.
- Ability to identify customer needs.
- Understanding of how your services differ from competitors.
- Speed of service.
After conducting a mystery shopping survey, the auditor provides a detailed evaluation using a specially designed questionnaire. Mystery shopping can also be done digitally, and doesn’t demand a physical appearance. You may, for instance, wish to test the quality of your company’s support department via telephone or through various online platforms. We adapt the method according to your specific need.
Qualities of a successful mystery shopper
To ensure the success of your mystery shopping research, the mystery shopper needs to possess specific characteristics and a fundamental understanding of your business. The most critical trait is attentiveness, as customers notice even the smallest details. Attention to detail is key, and our expert shoppers exhibit this quality along with a professional approach. We have a diverse range of personas in our mystery shopping network, enabling us to select someone from your company’s preferred target group. We prioritize professionalism and provide training to our mystery shoppers, ensuring valuable results.
Key criteria evaluated in mystery shopping
If you are considering a mystery shopping study, you need to understand what aspects to focus on in evaluating your employees and your company.
- First impressions matter significantly, including the overall appearance of your employees
- Professionalism should be maintained through adherence to established workplace guidelines
- Timeliness in service is crucial, as customers’ patience wanes with extended wait times
- Interpersonal skills play a significant role, including the abilities to actively listen
- Employees ability to suggest alternative products
- How swiftly employees find information when prompted, as passive responses to challenges are viewed negatively
- Cleanliness (only relevant for physical visits)
- Displaying of products
Mystery shopping research can be used as a tool to uncover areas where staff may require additional training.
Enhancing your company’s image
Effective marketing is essential to attract potential customers, but it’s not the sole driver of a company’s success. Surprisingly, statistics show that improper service is responsible for a significant customer loss—approximately 70%. Customers appreciate being guided by knowledgeable personnel who represent the company and brand effectively. Rude or incompetent employees can deter customers, regardless of the quality of your products or services. Mystery shopping research is gaining popularity among companies focused on customer service.
Don’t hesitate to conduct a mystery shopping survey with Norstat. Our trained mystery shoppers provide reliable and realistic results. The audit identifies your areas for improvement, enabling you to strengthen your brand’s image and attract a multitude of satisfied customers.