Mystery Shoppers Can Bring Out The Best In Business

Mystery shopping is used by companies of all sizes in order to check on the customer service of their employees. It is a cost effective way of gaining a true picture of the experience that customers and service users receive.

More and more companies are turning towards the use of mystery shoppers in order to check that the staff on the ‘front line’ are maintaining company standards. Mystery shoppers can be any age or sex, can be single shoppers or go with the family in tow. From banks to theme parks, restaurants to cinemas, the type of shopper taking the notes depends on the needs of the company and the specifics of the mystery shop.

How mystery shopping works
Companies who require a shopper contact one of the agencies which can find the right person for the job. They require either a general idea as to what the firm wishes to achieve with the mystery shop, or a list of specific questions/situations that they would like dealt with. The agency then sends out emails or calls the suitable shoppers on their books and offer the work. A toy store, for example, could require a parent and child shop, where the staff’s helpfulness can be tested in a situation that is more natural. A bank, on the other hand, may require that a shopper with no children undergo a financial review. A restaurant could require the mystery shopper to take their family out for a meal and rate the experience for the family as a whole. For every type of business, there is a mystery shopper who can provide the information required.

Why mystery shopping works
When using mystery shopping UK businesses can choose how much information they give their staff ahead of the shop. Some companies use mystery shoppers on an ongoing basis, never telling staff when a shop may be happening. This can ensure that staff are always unaware that they may be tested, keeping them focused on their work and ensuring that the feedback received is as accurate as possible. Other companies may choose to give their staff a general warning that a mystery shop will be happening in the weeks ahead, without being specific about the timing. This way of organising the shop can allow staff to brush up on their customer service skills and can make them aware as to where they can make improvements. Which method is used is entirely up to the company concerned.

Whatever your business concerns, using a mystery shopper can be highly beneficial. It can keep staff motivated, with good review earning rewards and it can highlight problem areas where business practices may need to improve. Properly motivated staff and good business practice both help to increase profit. In the current businessclimate, good customer care can make all the difference between success and failure, as a happy customer is more likely to return and spend more of their hard-earned cash.

Mary Jameson has worked as a mystery shopper for years, fitting the mystery shops around her family life. She writes for industry specific websites and has a keen interest in promoting mystery shopping UK wide, believing it to be the best method of ensuring that customers receive the service that they deserve. She researches industry trends an information using resources such as