Mystery Shopping Solutions: What basic services are available?

Mystery shopping solutions are the services provided by mystery shopping companies. A company searching for a way to use mystery shopping to improve business might want some further explanation into the entire concept: aren’t mystery shopping solutions just the one thing, ‘mystery shopping programs’? Are there different solutions? What is available out there at the moment?

The key thing to remember is that any good company worth their salt will make sure that the mystery shopping solutions they offer you are tailored to your needs. This means that they will talk with you about what goals you are trying to reach and what kind of data you are after. This, in turn, then informs the kinds of mystery shopping solutions they will propose you use for your program. Let’s touch on the basics:

Mystery Shopping Program 101

A basic mystery shopping program, using mystery shoppers without special gadgets, only their well-trained brains.

Audio Mystery Shopping

Audio visits are one of the many mystery shopping solutions that are currently very popular. The mystery shopper is sent in to do a mystery shop and they record all the conversations they have with staff so that these can then be listened back to later and used for further analysis.

Video Mystery Shopping

Not the easiest feat to accomplish, this form of mystery shopping involves the mystery shopper discreetly video recording their entire visit at the store. Normally, these visits assess store presentation and staff grooming.

Mystery Calling

Testing customer phone service is as important as testing in-store, face-to-face customer service. Mystery calling, as the name implies, involves mystery shoppers calling into a customer service line and asking certain questions and testing certain touchpoints.

Customer Satisfaction Surveying

Many people confuse mystery shopping with customer satisfaction surveying, but it’s important to stress that they are not the same. Satisfaction Surveys do not provide the same kinds of detailed, specific information as a mystery shopping program. They can, however, be used to help contextualize mystery shopping data.

Employee Satisfaction Surveying

Keeping track of employee performance and satisfaction go hand in hand with ensuring positive experiences for the customers they service. This also provides clear feedback from the team and an opportunity to see whether training has done what was necessary.

These are just some of the mystery shopping solutions your provider can offer you. There are a multitude of options, of course, and using them together or separately will provide different layers of data that can be used to help your company improve your frontline.

In general, mystery shopping solutions are aimed at making sure you get the actionable insights you need. That means making sure that your mystery shopping provider is clear on what areas you are looking to analyze – the more focused your goal, the more focused the tools can be to find answers to your questions.

mystery shopping solutions

Olwen - in purple Olwen has been in marketing for more than 8 years, she‘s been with AQ since 2016. Her passion is for helping people and businesses improve their customer service experience by providing interesting content. Follow her on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.

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