The Different Kinds of Mystery Shopping Programs

and Mystery Shopping Methods.

When it comes to Mystery Shopping, most people have a pretty basic idea of what it is. It has been described as sending undercover investigators to evaluate the Service Level of a store. Although, not quite the correct definition, the notion is similar. There are many different kinds of Mystery Shopping. Though, it should be noted that an evaluation is not meant to spy on the staff or businesses!

The question is then how to get the data that is retrieved from the shopper to the company? There are many ways to do these and there are many types of Mystery Shopping programs out there.

Here are some of the more common ones:

Traditional Mystery Shopping

The most common method of Mystery Shopping includes sending in a shopper to audit a certain aspect of the service given by a company. These include all kinds of businesses. An easy example would be retail.

The shopper is first briefed on what needs to be evaluated and send to conduct the visit. Upon, completing the visit. The Shopper will then fill in a report with the data of the shopper’s findings. These reports are designed in such a way as to reflect the service standard that is set by the parent company.

This method of Mystery Shopping is pretty straight forward and depends a lot on trust.

Mystery Shopping Methods

Audio Mystery Shopping

When then have an Audio Recording Mystery Visits. Similar to the previous traditional method, however, there is the added aspect of the Audio Recording. So for example, if the shopper is evaluating a specific staff on the product knowledge. The shopper is then required to record the conversation between him/herself and the staff involve.

This evaluation process is slightly more difficult. As you can imagine, secretly trying to record someone is not easy. Let alone, trying to record in a busy environment. What makes these visits hard, is getting that clear audio recording.

Now, this kind of Mystery Visit still requires the trust of the shopper. It also requires the shopper to be tactful and cautious.

Video Mystery Shopping

One of the more difficult Mystery Shopping programs would be for Video Mystery Shopping. For this you would need to record the visit using a recording device that is inconspicuous. You can use your phone, it would not be the easiest as to keep under the radar.

The shoppers need to be very careful and diligent in performing these visits. The video needs to be clear, the audio needs to be clear and everything need meet the requirements of the project.

I’m sure you can already imagine that this one is tough, although, very exciting.

We also have industry specific Mystery Shopping programs, which would be covered in another article.

**It’s important to noted that with any Mystery Shopping Program, approval of the method is given by the company.

Do you think that a Mystery Shopping Program could help your company? Contact us today to find out more.