a. The most important reason for conducting a mystery shop, is to see your business through the eyes of your customer. Not only should you consider mystery shops, but using focus groups on a quarterly basis that are made up of some of your actual customers. Both sources will provide you with excellent feedback that you can start to focus on.
b. Second, a well-thought out mystery shopper program will allow you to evaluate the accuracy of your training program. If your employees are taught in their training program that they must greet the customer in a certain way, the "shop" will show the results. It is also a way to hold employees accountable for what they learned in training. If you train them you can test them!
c. Third, it helps a company to truly focus on the areas that need improving, based on the customer's reactions. Too often management believes that there needs to be changes in one area and the customer feedback shows that the focus needs to be elsewhere in order to keep them as a loyal customer. Management may think that tightly merchandising their floor space is giving the customer the selection they want, and it turns out that the customer says it is too cramped to shop comfortably.2. Where Do I Start?
a. Slow down and think, is my answer. First, think about the information you really want to obtain from these reports and what are you going to do with it. The questions you want to ask are one of the most important parts of the program. The best place to obtain the questions is to go back to the training material.
b. You probably have non-negotiable questions that you can begin with. Those are the things you teach employees that must be done, no matter what. If you want to attach points to the questions, then you can give more points to the questions that you want your employees to be the best at. Let's say answering the phone in a certain way is mandatory. If they know that, and they are held responsible for doing that, then you should have it on the questionnaire and you can feel confident about attaching a higher number of points to it.
c. The next step is to hire the shoppers. This can make or break your program. Too often companies think they are saving money by hiring friends and family. I suggest that you hire people you don't know. You are looking for unbiased feedback and the best way is to hire the right people for it.
Mystery Shopping. (2011). Retrieved from Internet and Mystery Shopping: http://www.mystery-shopping-online.com/articles/The-Role-Of-Internet-In-Mystery-Shopping.html