Mystery Shopping Programs and Internal Processes

Can a good mystery shopping program really help your business?

All business have standard operating procedures (SOPs) that they use to build internal processes. These processes and procedures provide the structure that every company needs in order to manager workflows, staff, projects… and anything else that makes the company tick.

Processes are usually built to address specific areas, and depending on the size of the company there may be many different types of processes and procedures that need constant updating and evaluation. It’s not always practical or possible to monitor the effectiveness of an SOP from inside the company. It can make sense to bring in a third-party to come in and take a look.

In those cases, the best course of action might be to get a mystery shopping provider to create a program specifically aimed at testing the procedures and process flows, particularly those aimed at frontline. A mystery shopper can evaluate several things, such as whether the staff is following the correct procedures and processes for different circumstances. For example, if the company has built in a new sales program with a new sales script, it’s important to check how things are going – have the changes been taken up on all relevant levels? Are there any issues with the scripts? How do the scripts work reality? Are they having the desired effect on customers?

By working with a solid mystery shopping provider, companies can create a mystery shopping program capable of answering all the questions they need to know. It’s important to ask the right questions, however; to get clear and actionable data the correct questions need to be asked in the correct way.

Often times, when we start work with a new client, particularly one who is new to mystery shopping, we are careful to take our time in developing exactly the right type of mystery shopping program questionnaire: one that meets the client’s data requirements, is practical and efficient for our mystery shoppers, and allows for clear results. There’s no point in anyone investing in a badly planned out mystery shopping program! Asking questions left, right, and centre will only provide a cacophony of data, and not the well-orchestrated reports that will actually help.