Our series on how to choose a mystery shopping company continues. We want to share tips on things to look for in the company you’ll be entrusting with gathering the data that, in some cases, will guide your strategic and operating decisions over the course of this next year.
We’ve discussed the right questions to ask about mystery shopping experience, credibility and the shoppers a company uses. Then we asked you to consider how your team and the mystery shopping team will work together.
Now let’s talk about specific industry experience.
At Market Viewpoint, we enjoy bringing a variety of creative ideas to each project we launch. We feel that it’s in our clients’ best interest to bring ideas from a cross section of industries. Great customer experience ideas that work in banking may also work in real estate, retail, or guest services. You just never know where the next great idea is going to come from.
Experience in industry jargon, buzz words, complications, peculiarities, and models of operation are important when it comes to choosing a mystery shopping company.
The design of your forms, the types of questions you ask, the frequency of evaluation, and how your final reports are prepared hinge on the nuances of your industry. It is helpful if you have a process guide who understands you.
The Key Question to Ask
Another question we suggest you ask a potential mystery shopping vendor is” Do you have experience in my industry?” Then listen carefully to their answers.
Do not discount a company because they do not have mystery shopping experience in your exact industry. Learn about the organization and their key players. Perhaps a key person on staff has worked in your industry. Or they have coached or trained at a company who provides similar services to yours.
Recognize the depth of understanding any type of customer experience is more valuable than someone who ‘knows how to do retail shops’. Ask for case studies and references from a mystery shopping provider. Understanding the global customer mindset, current buying habits, and overall trends is as important, if not more, as knowing your industry.
As you review your vendor choices, ask about industry experience, but also ask what they know about customer experiences. It’s a “must have” criteria in our opinion!
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