What's A Mystery Shop?
Have you heard of mystery shoppers? Have you wondered what a mystery shopper was and what they do? Here is a simple answer: a mystery shop is the opportunity for a customer to give feedback to a business regarding their employees and service. However, there is a lot behind the mystery shop and the benefit it offers to a company, its employees and its customers. Let's take a look behind the "shop".
The Basic Mystery Shop
The basic mystery shop is assigned to a shopper. The company often has specific items that they wish to be evaluated that are outlined in the assignment. The shopper is expected to read the assignment, review the survey, and complete a short quiz with the shop requirements. The quiz is a way to ensure that you understand the assignment. Once that is complete, you are ready to complete the assignment.
The assignment often involves evaluating services provided by employees. Auto shop assignments involve taking a specific model of car to a dealer and evaluating the facility, the services and the staff. Restaurant assignments involve evaluating the service speed, the food quality and the staff courtesy. It is important to be observant and each shop requires getting the names and descriptions of the employees with which you interact. In addition, you will be asked to write narratives which include direct quotes of the employee's words. When you complete the "shop" you will be expected to complete an online survey. The survey includes information about employees, narratives and answering simple questions with a click! It takes only a short time to complete the surveys and the more shops you complete, the easier and quicker they are!
It is fun and easy! In the process of completing shops, it becomes obvious that there is more to the "checking up" and "tattling" that mystery shoppers seem to be doing. There are great benefits for practically everyone involved! Read on to learn more!
The Company Benefits
As the economy gets more difficult, many companies are looking for ways to build their business stronger. That means finding ways to make their company the "best"! Many companies already offer good quality products and competitive prices. One way the can edge out their competitors is by providing high quality service. A company who will take the time and spend the money to train employees to provide excellent customer service will have that edge.
A company who makes that leap and plans, trains and expects quality customer service from their employees has several options for making sure that service is being offered to its customers. Managers monitoring their department employees during the work day is one very simple and expected method that every company uses. One step more is offering a method and process for customer complaints. Some companies will have a customer service number posted on the door or a customer service department to make it easy for customers to voice their concerns and complaints. A company that will work to correct and back up those concerns with action will step ahead of its competitors.
The company that demands high quality service from its employees will take the extra step of hiring a Mystery Shopping company to test those employees and provide an avenue for unbiased review. These customers are required to answer simple questions provided by the company to review the qualities that they want their employees to have. The employees are evaluated on the standards set forth by that company. An employee who follows company training and policies will have NO problem. Mediocre employees who provide that quality service under the Manager's eyes will be evaluated by a customer who has been given exact instructions on what the company is looking for in their employees.
These shops provide information that is used by the company to improve their training, monitor their expectations and evaluate their employees' performance. Shops are backed with direct quotes, employee descriptions, time stamped receipts, and specific questions provided directly by the company. They are legitimate information used to improve customer service satisfaction.
The Employee Benefits
An employee who is already meeting the company's policies and expectations will LOVE the Mystery Shopper. This shopper will reinforce the company's knowledge that he/she is providing the quality services that they are trained to provide. They are meeting customer's needs and making that sale!
An employee who is marginal will benefit from the comments and suggestions provided by the Mystery shopper. They will have the opportunity to see what they are doing well and what they need to improve. There is no opportunity to place blame on another employee or an unpleasant boss. The Mystery Shopper is completely unbiased. We give employees every opportunity to meet the shop requirements. We answer black and white survey questions and enter direct quotes received. We account for every part of the interactions we have with employees.
An employee who does not care, will not care what the Mystery Shopper says or does anyway. They have already quit their job and the company can give them the opportunity to improve or validate their choice to move on. Ultimately it is all about finding those employees who WILL provide the quality services and reward them while weeding out those who do not care.
The Customers Benefit
A company that will spend the time and money to hire a mystery shopper to visit and evaluate their business ultimately are wanting to provide the best possible services that they can. This means that customers will enjoy their shopping experience more and then they will spend more. Even if they don't spend more, they will come back....over and over....in an attempt to find items to purchase. People who feel informed and valued will return. People who are treated with respect are going to return. Returning people will make more purchases. More purchases mean more money and a higher profit margin. A healthy profit means better prices....happier customers!
Join Me At HubPages AND Bestmark
- Mystery Shopping Company | Customer Experience Measurement | BestMark
Join Me at Bestmark: The Nation's Leading Secret / Mystery Shopping Company. Enter KS4363 as the Referring Shopper ID and prepare to start! It's a fun and easy way to make some extra money!
- prektjr.dc on HubPages
Hello!! I began hubbing to expand my horizons while helping others to expand theirs! I can't believe it has been a year already! Wow! I have...
Interested In Becoming A Mystery Shopper?
I am new at it! I haven't heard a lot about it and I haven't done many....yet! It takes about a half hour of keen observations and a bit of acting! My short list of community theater roles have been a wonderful help in making the shops. I have found that connecting shopping scenarios to real life events not only make them more believable, but also more relaxed. By tying the shops into a real life situation, it is easier to follow through with conversations and questions that the companies ask you to ask of their employees.
The ability to maintain anonymity is crucial to a successful shop. Telling the employee or making it known eliminates the ability for the company to have an unbiased look at the employee's performance. It jeopardizes the entire purpose of the shop in the first place.
If you are interested in trying it out, go to www.bestmark.com and enter KS4363 as referral Shopper ID number! Bestmark is a reputable company which is careful to make sure that they follow specific guidelines and policies. They have quality checks in place to make sure that shoppers are evaluating the employee correctly. Assignments are exact and they evaluate a specific set of skills. Payments are not large, but they add up! I have had my oil changed, tires rotated and enjoyed delicious meals. I have even made a couple of hundred dollars doing it! Check it out....you might like the challenge!
Beware of scams however, if a company asks you to do a shop and send a money order to someone, it is probably a scam. Bestmark is a reputable company. I checked it out on the www.fbi.gov site! Be smart and be safe! Have fun!
Learn More About Mystery Shopping!
- How To Be A Successful Mystery Shopper
Want to know more about being a Mystery Shopper? What is involved in mystery shopping? How do you become a successful mystery shopper? The answers are here in this quick reading article!
Text and Photo Copyright 2012 Deborah M. Carey