Have you ever wanted to be a “Mystery Shopper?”
A mystery shopper is generally hired by a retailer to pose as a regular consumer. The mystery shopper will perform specific duties–such as purchasing a product or service, asking questions, filing complaints, or perform in different ways a regular customer might act. The ultimate goal of the mystery shopper is to gather information of the whole shopping experience and then report that information back to their employer. Mystery shopping is not a new practice. It has been a form of retail strategy since the early 1940’s–trying to register employee conduct and customer service. Many mystery shoppers have even been known to carry audio and video recording devices to document their findings. Some of these can be seen on local TV. news shows, where retail investigations are being performed–especially if the store or organization has been receiving multiple complaints.
Mystery shoppers often frequent malls, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, banks, car dealerships, health clubs, movie theatres, and non-profit organizations. Retailers face huge pressure and competition in today’s economy. The success of their business or organization ultimately depends on satisfied customers. Security corporations are a common answer to finding qualified mystery shoppers. Mystery shoppers must be trained and dependable.
Services that are commonly offered to retailers are: customer perception polling, e-surveys, product testing, competitor evaluations, customer exit interviews, age restriction testing (alcohol and tobacco), vendor merchandising standards, brand protection, and on-site evaluations. Mystery shoppers are able to perform these various missions to also determine employee integrity, employee training issues, and competitor trends. Security companies guarantee confidential service and essential professionalism.
Benefits for the retailer, by using the services of a mystery shopper, can be critical and rewarding. By conducting mystery shopper investigations, the retailer can utilize the results to train employees better and more effectively. A retailer can motivate and reward employees according to the mystery shopper’s findings. A store manager or owner can only be at the store so many hours and in so many locations at one time. A mystery shopper–a powerful tool– allows strategic management and planning for the future–all for the betterment of the business or organization.