I get calls each week from people who want to set up secret shopping programs in their organizations. On the surface, the process seems simple but there is more to the creation of an effective program than meets the eye.
Before I can create a wonderfully successful mystery shopping program for a client I need to know why.
My first question and yours, even before you pick up the phone to inquire about services, is “Why do you want to do this?”
Remember the old saying that ‘form follows function’. Remember that you should always begin a project with the end result in mind.
An experienced mystery shopping company will help you determine the purpose for your program if you are unsure. They will help you answer the question of why.
They will use this rationale to design your survey instrument, select your shoppers, train your shoppers, design your database, create your reports, decide your frequency of shops, and assign the account management team to guide your program.
The reasons why organizations mystery shop are many. Some of the most popular are that companies want to use the data for the following purposes:
- Monitor staff in terms of sales skills
- Monitor staff in terms of customer service skills
- Position the organization in relation to the performance of your competitors
- Discover what’s really important to the customers
- Create the blueprint for training programs
- Create the strategic plan
- Develop a list of key strengths for marketing campaigns
There are lots of reasons to secret shop but there is only one reason that is right for your company.
Be clear with your “why”.
The clearer you are with why you want and need this data, the better prepared your mystery shopping company will be to design a program that will get you the data you need to support your organizational success.
If you ever worked for an organization that mystery shopped, what reason did they give their employees for doing so?
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