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What Are The Secrets Behind Mystery Shopping

Jun 11, 2008
So what exactly is mystery shopping and what role does it play? Mystery shopping is a method used by companies to analyse the performance of their staff. Often this will involve a mystery shopper being despatched to a business with the view of completing a task such as buying a product or using a service. The mystery shopper will then provide a report about the level of service that they receive.

This means that the company can get acute information about the levels of customer service that they offer and it is as a result a very effective way of analysing their own performance. Specific areas of concern can be investigated and the mystery shopper provides a written report at the end of their duties so that the company can measure their performance. Mystery shopping can be performed in many different places and there are a number of different ways in which mystery shoppers collect their information. The types of mystery shopper include; video mystery shoppers that use video footage; email mystery shopper that give information about the company via email and report only mystery shopper that simply compile a written report based on their experiences.

Covert Video Shoppers

Possibly the most daring of all of the types of mystery shopper is the covert video shopper. These types of shopper are equipped with a small video camera that is hidden carefully somewhere on the person. This could be in a bag that they are carrying or in a turban that they are wearing. This technology films the interaction that takes pace and the video footage can be passed on to the company that requested the analysis.

It is accompanied with a written report that supplies the company with two forms of feedback. These are often used for companies whose staff has close contact with the clients and often for companies that have a large component of direct sales. It is a very realistic form of mystery shopping that does not rely on the feedback of the person undertaking the analysis.

Email mystery shoppers

These shoppers are used to analyse feedback that customers receive through email. There is a great deal of business done through email and as a result the demand for email mystery shopper has increased in recent years. These shoppers will pose as normal customers and are likely to purchase items or services in the same way as a normal customer.

They will then record the communications between themselves and the organisation so that the organisation that has requested information gets feedback that ensures that they can keep their level of service high. The mystery shopper will provide qualitative and quantitative feedback so that the company can get a comprehensive overview. This type of communication is obviously extremely important in modern business.

Mystery shoppers

The majority of mystery shoppers operate without video equipment and many are paper only mystery shoppers. This means that their feedback is provided purely by a feedback form. These feedback forms are likely to be both qualitative and quantitative meaning that there are a number of check box sections and a number of sections that allow the mystery shopper to offer personal feedback. These mystery shoppers will almost always have a rigid list of tasks to complete with the company before they can work on their report.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has worked in the customer service training industry and is an expert on mystery shopping. He shares his expertise to help you.
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