Author Archives: Tern Consultancy

Health and Beauty Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping within the Health and Beauty industry has a number of benefits. Conducting detailed mystery shopper research can help you to improve performance and profitability whilst ensuring a compliant service delivery which your customers will love.

Mystery Shopping Health and Beauty

The industry employees an estimated 250,000 workers and has an annual turnover averaging £5.25 billion’


Measuring location and operational performance in your salon, spa or surgery will not only help you to deliver on the health and beauty training you have put in place to support staff. It will also help you to monitor the safe delivery of your product or service to customers.

With new cosmetic procedures and beauty products appearing every day, it is important for the sector to reflect carefully on its approach to looking after clients.

‘Increasingly we are taking a more holistic view of our health, and our beautification ritual may now include a periodic massage and a trip to the spa. But our concern with our appearance is hardly anything new; indeed the beauty industry has been expanding and growing for all of recorded history.’ 

Source: Franchise Help Beauty Industry Report 2016

 How we conduct mystery shopping health and beauty visits?

Whether your business is beauty therapy, aesthetics, skincare or surgical treatments, we can use a number of methods to assess your salon or practice standards. By using shoppers who are demographically profiled to your beauty or cosmetics brand, we can send mystery shoppers to test brand product knowledge, beauty treatments, all the way through to cosmetic consultations.

Because compliance and customer satisfaction go hand in hand, we can assess an employees’ ability to follow procedures, ensuring compliant delivery and a great customer experience.  Our secret spa shoppers will work within the confines of a respective health and beauty survey which will be designed specifically to meet your needs as the client.  Helping salon managers and employees use of effective risk control measures to play an important part of your business.

 The benefit for secret shoppers as health and beauty spa visitors

As part of our mystery shopper service for the health and beauty sector we can send our potential customer in to measure not only the initial consultation process, we can also look at how well beauty treatment was discussed and delivered. This allows spas, beauty treatment providers and practitioners to refine the offer and test treatments on real clients.

 A typical secret beauty salon visit might include:

  • New beauty client consultation process.
  • Customer service measurement pre-treatment
  • Compliance checking, skin testing for allergens to products
  • Relationship building, upsell, treatment and product knowledge.
  • Practice therapist assessments
  • Under age sales testing

With legislation and regulation split between local authorities (LAs) and the Health and Safety Executive HSE. Non-surgical treatments (which form the majority of this sector) fall to LAs, while HSE enforces treatments undertaken under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner, eg cosmetic dentistry.  Find out more about  Health and Safety within the Beauty Industry . HSE and LAs will work together in enforcing compliant delivery in the respective areas.

 Our health and beauty mystery shopping services can be used by:

  • Spas and Salons (beauty, aesthetics, skincare, treatments)
  • Cosmetic Brands
  • Health and Beauty Brands
  • Health and Beauty Retailers
  • Luxury Brands
  • Hairdresser Salons
  • Tanning Studios
  • Hotels

 Specialist providers of services which require qualified practitioners:

If you own or manage a beauty treatment spa, salon group or practice you already know that the wellbeing of the client is key to long term retention and growth of the business. See how Tern can you help you support you with you with a bespoke mystery shopping programme.

Tern Enhances its Mystery Shopping Report Capability

As specialists in the development and delivery of bespoke mystery shopping programmes in the UK we are delighted to announce the latest updates to our reporting suite.

With a redesigned interface and an updated reporting platform, it’s easier than ever to find the information that you need to know as Customer Insights teams, Operations Managers and Marketing Managers.

The enhanced navigation and functionality of our mystery shopping report platform provides users with quick and easy access on all devices to the wide range of information we measure for our clients.

 Personalised Mystery Shop Reporting

Our new responsive design enables users to quickly drill down into their performance and the intuitive navigation makes finding the relevant information a breeze.

Tern Report Platform 2015

With just a few clicks you can monitor your performance across all areas and gather the facts you need.

See for yourself, we’ve revamped our mystery shopping reports example  page to help you get a feel for the updated platform on which you can see both branded and unbranded versions of the report output.


We are continually developing our systems to make it easier for our clients to view and navigate their way through their mystery shopping data, whether by email, online or face to face through an insight session with our expert research analysts and data specialists. You’re invited to take a look for yourself or contact us for a live demo.


New Consumer Ombudsman Launched

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  20/08/2015

With an overhaul in consumer rights due this October, along with a proposed Consumer Rights Bill, it’s time you brushed up on your customer service standards. The new Consumer Ombudsman will allow customers to raise a complaint about businesses in any sector, bringing focus to areas which may have been previously overlooked.

The new consumer ombudsman will be positive for both business and consumers alike and will seek to clarify core consumer rights:

New Consumer Ombudsman Launched

The New Consumer Ombudsman Website

The core consumer rights as defined by the bill will be:

  • Right to get what you pay for;
  • Right that goods and digital content are fit for purpose and services are provided with reasonable care and skill;
  • Right to have faults in what you buy put right free of charge, or to be provided with a refund or replacement.

According to the latest figures released by the Ombudsman services, 66 million complaints were made about products and services last year – equating to a complaint every 1.2 seconds.

Find out what this will mean for you as a consumer by visiting Which or the new Consumer Ombudsman websites.

How will the new Consumer Ombudsman help to shape a better customer service experience?

Experts in dispute resolution the ombudsman will be available to sort out complaints about the companies which have joined the organisation. They will provide an independent, impartial and cost effective means of resolving disputes outside the courts.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will mean that the new ombudsman will be available across all consumer sectors. Ensuring your service standards are in order will avoid consumer complaints down the line.

Using mystery shopping as an effective measure of customer service experience:

The financial services and energy sector have both been proactive in the use of mystery shopping as a pre-emptive tool against poor service for many years; gaining insight into their call centres, face to face interactions and online service delivery.

Mystery Shopping is an effective means of driving up your core standards and will make sure your customer journey is clear and understood by all.

Looking to improve your own customer service standards?

Tern can support you with telephone calls to assess your contact centre, video mystery shopping for detailed evidence gathering and standard written mystery shop reports which are all delivered through our easy to use online platform. This will provide you with all of the evidence you need to form a detailed audit; see the  rmystery shop report examples page to see what this looks like in practice.

Read more on this story from around the web

This is Money
Retail Week

Mystery Diners for Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and Pub Chains

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  21/07/2015

The UK dining and restaurant sector is a hugely competitive marketplace and the experience of the consumer is key to the ongoing success of individual brands and the growth of the sector as a whole.

In a time where online reviews through sites like have become an integral part of the consumer decision making process it is even more important to check that service levels are right from the start. Many companies are using ‘Mystery Diners’ to see whether their service standards exceed, or fail, against company expectations.

Mystery Diners


Eating-out spend reaches 13 month high

By Sophie Witts, 09-Jun-2015
Consumer spending on eating and drinking-out reached a record peak in May, according to the latest Barclaycard Consumer Spending report.

Creating a mystery diner programme, that is both engaging and rewarding for staff, can help to identify any areas of weakness throughout the consumer experience. Making your staff members ‘champions of the business’ can be a great motivational tool and really improve overall service standards.

We were commissioned by Sam Smith Brewery to conduct a Mystery Diner Programme to do just that. We provided them with a carefully blended programme of standard restaurant mystery shopping and under age sales testing. The customer journey was carefully documented through the eyes our mystery diners and recorded on our online reporting system.

Sam Smith, owner of the independent Sam Smith Brewery and pub chain said:

‘I can only speak very positively about Tern and the service we have agreed. There have been some challenges getting our managers to take it seriously and holding them accountable for poor service. A highlight was running a trip for our Customer Service Champions – the managers who achieved the top three scores – where they had a VIP experience at our breweries, including getting involved in the brewing process themselves. We are slowly but surely seeing progress in the service delivered at our sites.’

Commissioning Mystery Diners

When commissioning a mystery dining programme you should give consideration to some of the following points;

  • Understand the mystery dining criteria against your company standards.
  • Keep visits objective.
  • Seek to understand performance and benchmark over time.
  • Create segmented views of the business;
    • For example looking at how the service level changes at different times of the day or when ordering at the bar or in the restaurant.
  • Let the data identify the gaps for training your staff.
  • Understand sales and service upgrade opportunities.

Whichever method of mystery shopping you decide upon, video, audio or written, the reports you gain will be invaluable for your business.

See some of our mystery shopping report examples and download the free mystery shop survey template to get you started or find out more about Tern, one of the leading mystery shopping companies in the UK on our home page.


Mystery Members Conduct Gym and Fitness Centre Mystery Shopping Visits

Traing on treadmill

Becoming a member of a gym these days can be a large financial commitment, to some fitness fanatics it can be an absolute necessity, a must have in their lives regardless of the cost.  To others it forms part of a wider lifestyle choice and choosing a gym can be a more difficult decision to make, with both the cost and quality of the overall service an important consideration.

Either way potential members should be convinced that the gym or fitness centre can fit comfortably around their personal circumstances and is an investment in their future health, fitness and wellbeing. Projecting the key benefits in the right way can be an important factor in conversion and can be key to increasing gym membership sales in a competitive environment.

Tern utilises mystery shoppers as mystery gym members to help evaluate health and gym club membership managers’ ability to convert individuals and families alike into long term brand advocates who select a club to fit around their lifestyle.

So why do gyms invest in mystery shopping?

The size of the health and fitness industry in the UK is impressive and growing with the figures revealed in a recent report.

 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that the UK health and fitness industry has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before. For the first time ever, member numbers have exceeded 8 million, market value is over £4 billion and the penetration rate is at an all time high of 13.2%.’

With wearable sports tech becoming mainstream in 2015 consumers  awareness of their own fitness levels will become even greater, increasing the opportunities to engage with new potential members.

Rioch Brewer, Senior Statistician at Kantar Media Custom comments:  “The health and fitness wearables market is still in its infancy, and brands targeting younger audiences as well as those in the sport and leisure categories are leading the way. These figures are set to increase as brands innovate in this space as a means of attempting to engage with consumers and extend the overall brand experience. It is also interesting to see that consumers are happy to pay for apps and devices, which opens up additional opportunities for manufacturers and developers.”

Getting the view from the customer or member can help to tutor managers to the selling points they have been trained in. They can view the results objectively and see if they are managing to deliver against the embedded sales or member mentoring process. The quality of the human interaction in this process is key, converting people who are not regular gym goers can provide a big increase in revenue and profit for a gym membership manager.

The benefit for mystery gym members

Of course there are some benefits for the mystery shoppers as well.  As part of our mystery shopper service for gyms we send our potential members in to measure not only the initial member consultation we also look at how well the member on boarding process commits the customer to a long term relationship with their gym of choice. This allows gyms to understand the reason for any potential high churn rates that they might be experiencing.

Our approach to health and fitness centre mystery shopping

Building strong relationships with your gym members through social media, phone calls, text messages, or face-to-face communication, can all help to increase attendance among members and get them involved in regular classes.

These social nudges can dramatically increase member visits. Increasing the attendance levels also increases the points of contact they have with the gym, building points of contact can increase the customer lifetime value of your members.

A typical mystery member gym programme might include:

  • New gym member consultation process.
  • Member show round visit to the health club, gym, fitness suite, tour.
  • Initial visits, training inductions and advice based around health and preferred sporting activity.
  • Relationship building within the trial offer period.
  • Membership advisor assessments

If you own or manage a health club or gym, you’ve no doubt already learned that great customer service is a pre-requisite to running a successful business. With everyone these days seemingly involved in a triathlon, marathon or some other sporting event we can help to ensure that your gym can convert and retain new members effectively.

We conduct mystery shopping visits in a range of approaches. Evaluating face to face interactions with Video Mystery shopping or testing your online, telephone  and social response success with our online and call centre mystery shopping.

To find out a little more read our client testimonial for our gym mystery member programmes.

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  13/05/2015

Will changes to UK Pensions mean we will still get the right advice from Financial Advisers?

With the recent changes to pensions coming into effect in  April do we really understand all the options available to us for our retirement planning? The answer for most of us is probably not, and  the amount of knowledge UK consumers have on the subject can vary hugely.

Financial Adviser Mystery Shopping Promotional Banner

At Tern we provide support to financial services firms by supplying mystery shoppers who are able present test scenarios to the financial advisers working on an institutions behalf. This can be an important protection measure for making sure your employees are giving appropriate pensions advice suited to the needs of the individual requesting it.

The financial adviser mystery shopping visits we conduct are usually recorded with covert audio devices. The evidence gathered can be from telephone calls, face to face home visits or appointment based fact finding. Allowing your risk and compliance teams to review first hand evidence of the conversations taking place can provide an important resource which allows for guided training and vetting on standards of the financial advice offered.

Catering for different individuals scenarios

Whether an individual is just starting out on his or her career path and considering their first pension choices or someone is nearing retirement and wants to find out about how the changes to annuity rules in 2015 affect them.

Couple getting pensions advice from financial adviser

The options for pensions can leave many of us who are uninformed on the subject confused. Getting good advice from an IFA or pensions specialist on your options whether you choose to take a lump sum payment, ‘uncrystallised funds pension lump sum’ (UFPLS) or  a lifetime annuity for example,  can make a big difference to an individuals’ future  standard of living.

Of course making the right decisions with a pension pot will be different for each of us and dependent upon circumstances and the options we may wish to take based on our a risk appetite. There are plenty of free websites that will offer generic advice when you search for retirement planning services that leave consumers unprotected. Making the choice to see a regulated financial adviser is an investment in the future and personal financial advice which makes specific recommendations against your circumstance has to be paid for.

Any products recommended  must be suited to the individuals’ needs, if they’re not,  then the consumer can complain about mis-selling to the firm the financial adviser works for.  If the complaint is turned down it can be taken to the financial ombudsman service.

Financial Adviser Mystery Shopping

Get in touch today to find out more about how Tern can support your firm with correct preventative measures and ensure that your financial advisers are offering clear and relevant advice based on range of different scenarios. Read more about our financial service mystery shopping visits for banks and building societies

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  30/04/2015

Mystery Shopping Return on Investment

The business case for Mystery Shopping Return on Investment in 5 Steps and how to make it happen.

Mystery Shopping return on investment

It may seem counterintuitive to invest in Mystery Shopping when your customer satisfaction scores are already very high, particularly when a business focus is to cut costs. However, there is growing recognition that mystery shopping services and detailed views of the customer experience can deliver a strong return on investment for companies.

1. Focus on your brand objectives to help increase profit

So you want more conversions, you want to increase your average transaction value and ultimately you want more loyal customers.  Aligning the mystery shopping programme to these key objectives will help you achieve all of these things. By conducting mystery shopping you are helping to understand that all the right elements for success are in place on consistent basis.

Doing the right thing for the customer is more than just good practice – it’s a long term business strategy that will stand the test of time.

So how do you do this?

 2. Increase the relevance of the mystery shop reporting for your business

By focusing and understanding the key business areas within a mystery shopping programme you can investigate how your overall score can be improved. This works at both the company level and at a more granular regional or store level as you are able to see the overall strengths and weakness within a business.

After all you should be able to focus easily on how an individual store could achieve 100% by making small but measureable improvements in certain situations.  When you actually show staff how easy it is to do this they go on to become a positive promoter for both the business and its objectives. Improvements in mystery shop scores benefit both employer and employee and this is when mystery shopping can truly become a tool for success.

3. Take your employees with you on the journey

Ensuring that all stakeholders have input at key stages results in better engagement and fewer challenges. Encourage staff to feedback on reports and become part of the improvement process. By ensuring that the mystery shopping evidence gathered is robustly quality checked and is factual rather than subjective also alleviates and concerns store staff may have about the programme.

Verifying the reports with either picture, video or audio evidence supports each individual report and helps the business build upon its training and development programmes for staff.  Mystery Shopping should ultimately be seen as an investment opportunity to develop your staff.

With video mystery shopping, it is true to say that the majority of employees become fascinated with their own performance and how they can make personal improvements. No other method gives you quite the insight on an individual level or the ability to engage with your employees.

4. How do I correlate the improvements in mystery shop scores to ROI?

Any improvement in conversion rates, transaction value, and customer loyalty is a by-product of excellence customer service and this will be unique for each business. By benchmarking your mystery shop scores over time and matching them against your sales data for individual locations will help to give you a measure for success. This in turn will give you the justification you need to run the programme and continue its development.

Knowing what good looks like is the benchmark for everybody to aspire to and showing how excellence in customer service can impact the bottom line is the ultimate measure.

 5. Show your employees how they can benefit

Supporting employees with understanding the objectives of the business is key for both parties. If you are not helping employees to aim and reach for a 100% mystery shop score by the same token you are also not supporting the business to deliver its objectives. Remember that in a situation where the ultimate goal is to outperform you competitors the key component that will make a difference is your employees. By looking after your staff and mentoring them to understand your business goals and values you will benefit from a productive and coordinated workforce.

Motivated employees can thrive on delivering improved customer service which ultimately gives a sound return on your investment. This benefits both the business and employee.  Your internal awards and bonus structure can be aligned to both sales and mystery shop scores.

6. Finally remove the distractions from Operational Managers

A high frequency mystery shopping project can gather a large amount of data very quickly. By choosing a provider and a platform for report delivery which allows intelligent and easy segmentation you are able to focus on areas which require immediate attention. Whether  that is to give praise, or to deliver a manager action plan which instigates positive change.

Training and development of staff is key to successful company performance and giving yourself an independent reference from a third party is an invaluable starting point.

Mystery Shopping places the customer service at the heart of the business. Knowing that each customer is a potential mystery customer ensures that means staff are continually challenged on behalf of every customer that walks through your door.

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  09/02/2014

Mystery Shopping with Tern Consultancy

Tern Consultancy has a reputation for mystery shopping that is industry specific, practical and based on common sense. We have the unique distinction of combining the skill sets of operations managers, trainers and insights delivery teams to the required objectives for a business.

Call centre mystery shopping

How to get the most out of Call Centre Mystery Shopping.

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  23/10/2014

Automotive Mystery Shopping for Car Dealerships, Manufacturers and Auto Services  Whether it’s assessing car showroom standards, service desk knowledge or the selling skills of the dealership representatives, the evidence we gather puts you in the driving seat of your customer experience.  Our mystery shopping programmes are built to look at key moments within the customer journey to help you understand and evaluate a range of factors.  With new car sales in a dynamic period of growth ensure that you maximise your business and sales potential with greater insights on performance.  ‘UK new car market up again in August 2015, marking 42nd consecutive month of growth’ 04/09/2015  Each programme that we deliver is made-to-measure to fit the requirements of your business model. We will support you in that process with the benefit of 25 years of experience.              Call us on 01939235555  Contact Us Client Video Testimonials  Automotive Mystery Shopping  How we conduct the automotive industry mystery shopping visits.  We can audit your business whether you're a vehicle showroom, tyre service centre or car hire company, by capturing hard evidence to assess areas of importance to you. We do this by using either video mystery shopping, audio device recording or getting our mystery shoppers to complete detailed written mystery shopping reports.   Watch the sample video.   What can we cover:  Showroom standards and presentation Test drive delivery and sales representative product knowledge Knowledge of automotive finance options and dealership event incentives Aftersales quality checking With this information you can:   Understand missed sales opportunities and implement training for improvement. Identify at dealership level, areas of non-compliance and poor service Verify that advertising campaigns are launched on time and executed properly Seek opportunities to improve the consumer journey from the initial enquiry How we deliver the reports and visit analysis:  After the visits/reports have been completed you will have access to a comprehensive suite of mystery shopping reports delivered through our online dashboard.

Call Centre Mystery Shopping – Telephone Mystery Shopping

We have all been there and unfortunately it’s happening with increasing frequency, press one for sales, press two for enquiries, press three for billing and four for any other enquiry. It’s at this point when our hearts sink as we realise we are about to disappear into a labyrinth of sub menus before we get to speak to a real person. I’m sure that most of us are in favour of efficiency savings and streamlining processes but sometimes the customer experience can be lost in automated call routing systems. What we need here is some call centre mystery shopping.

How many times have you been frustrated wasting your time on hold?

Consumers will accept automated call services to a degree as they realise it supports getting better value products and services and in some occasions results in a shorter calls. That said once you manage to get through to a call handler or operative the way the call is managed is extremely important, providing anything other than an excellent service can cost your business lost revenue and lose you customers. 

Whilst mystery shopping your contact centre can’t adjust the fundamental dynamics of how your calls are routed, you can still ask your mystery shoppers to provide feedback as a focus group. By conducting call centre mystery shopping you will be able to identify issues and problems you might not have known existed with either the call routing or service levels.

Do you rely to heavily on your contact centre call board to tell you the customer experience?

The numbers on the call centre dashboard are all people with different perceptions of your business, as they listen to your call hold music there opinion is being shaped before they even get to speak to the person they need.

You most likely record your calls already so it is possible for you to review a call when a complaint is made and see where a call operative has gone wrong. You can even ask for customers to complete an automated customer satisfaction survey at the end of the call. However sometimes this does not give you the complete customer picture. You can read more about our thoughts on mystery shopping vs customer satisfaction in our blog and why a customer satisfaction responses from real customers will only give you part of the picture and is not a complete measure of service.

What are the benefits of  Mystery Shopping your Call Centre?

Using mystery shopping for your call centre, as opposed to post customer satisfaction surveys, means that you can approach the service with predefined set of measures in place.  Customer Experience Managers, this is our call as customers for you to you to understand the full customer journey for your call centre. Why wait for the complaint to shape your approach to business change. Customer apathy towards modern call centres is well documented and has taken many column inches in our tabloids, a bleak picture of our customer relationship with call centres indeed ‘UK call centre customer service ‘in decline’  Browen Morgan – Research Live.

This is why when the call is finally answered the operative should be  courteous, polite and have the ability to resolve the customer query in the right way. If you have a known problem you can address it by making  sure that you can bring a record of it to your training sessions and then use mystery shoppers to ensure that is has been removed from the system.

So have you ever wondered how good your contact centre really is?

A high number of call centres in the UK are using call centre mystery shopping as a way of regularly reviewing performance with a view to enhancing customer service and improvement training.

By conducting call centre mystery shopping you can separate the experiences out from your main accounts and complete a survey defined against company standards.

You can consider the call from a number of perspectives and the mystery shopper can score the call operative alongside the brief. You might do this might be in relation to a compliance requirement but equally the way the call is handled in terms of customer journey can be measured, just like any other mystery shopping exercise:

Before you embark on a mystery shopper programme for your call centre you might like to consider the following points.

  • Are the call centre mystery shoppers roleplaying a new or existing customer?
  • Does the mystery shopper need a fake account number?
  • How far does the role play need to extend before shopper exits the call?
  • What am I trying to measure or understand?

If you’re considering running a call centre mystery shopping programme, Tern provide can provide you with guidance and we can tailor the programme to your needs. We can measure areas in isolation or as a complete customer  journey.

For more information on how we can help contact us today. For more information on how online an telephone journeys interact with other distribution channels go to our page on online and call centre mystery shopping.


Event and Exhibition Mystery Shopping

Whether you’re a business which showcases products at a number of annual calendar events or a company which employs an external agency to deliver on site promotional advertising, the investment you make in your exhibition is significant. To ensure that it’s performing to its optimum you can employ mystery shoppers to evaluate a number of different elements of your service offer. Utilising a mystery shopping company to conduct event and exhibition mystery shopping can help your business to ensure both your demonstration stands are delivering to your company standards and are available on site when required.


Events and Exhibitions Mystery Shopping

As a company you may like to consider the following approach to your event or exhibition stand mystery shopping.

  • Is the pop up or exhibition stand manned?
  • Are your sales and promotional staff knowledgeable and approachable?
  • Do they reflect the brand as required aligned to company standards?
  • Are they able to handle sales objections and queries confident and correctly?
  • Do they close sales effectively and capture customer information if applicable?

At Tern we are experts at delivering programmes which can be tailored to you needs. We will work with you to provide a tailored mystery shopping brief which stretches your staffs ability and also  helps you to understand if the know your customer element is being captured.

The Benefits of Event and Exhibition Mystery Shopping.

When one of  countries the premier Luxury Garden Room and Gazebo companies - Crown Pavilions wanted to asses sales staff performance at one of its popular calendar events, Tern were able to provide video mystery shopping to help measure its sales standards. The staff were encouraged to review their performance and were also scored by the mystery shopper who was given a detailed role play which put the team members through their paces.

For Crown Pavilions the sales process is paramount. Sales consultants must show that they know the customer requirements and that they are also understood clearly in return. They must be able to field technical questions about the product and build and also be able to answer questions in relation to local planning requirements. They must be able to do this whilst also building a rapport with the customer with a view to being able to progress the sale.

Head of Sales Marketing at Tern,  James Harper, said: “Crown Pavilions are a progressive company and really want to ensure that both the company and sales staff maximise their potential with a view to providing excellent customer service. By providing a challenging mystery shopping brief we were able to identify some key areas for customer service and sales improvement”

Crown Pavilions Consultant, Stuart Gauld, said: “At Crown Pavilions we exhibit at between 30-40 shows a year, ranging from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to Grand Designs Live, to Burghley Horse Trails, and even county shows, a very diverse set of shows. With this in mind the strategy and delivery of our sales pitch is key. We chose to use Tern to help us evaluate our performance. We had our own stand filmed, which has been a huge success in order for us to improve the what and how we do.  From start to finish Tern provided us with what every good company should do. They listened to exactly we wanted doing and how, they made suggestions along the way to help us, and they delivered the service they said they would, in the time they set. We will look forward to using Tern again next year to help us to continue to improve.

Alongside the mystery shopping activity, Crown Paviions will use Tern’s online portal to review results and monitor performance via a customised mystery shopping report dashboard.  They take advantage of surveys with built in manager action plans, streamed best practice video content and a tracked appeals process. You can see a short sample video demonstrating our mystery shopping reports below.

Find out more about our approach to event and exhibition mystery shopping fill in our contact form  or call us on 01939 235555.

Written by James Harper – Digital Sales & Marketing Manager – Linkedin Google+ 20/10/2014



Mystery Shopping Consumer Credit

Mystery Shopping Consumer Credit
Mystery Shopping Consumer Credit at Points of Sale

With confidence having returned to the UK High Street consumers are now spending with a little more gusto, Next Retail has reported strong growth and cheap credit has been cited as a reason. You can read a bit more about this in a report by the Telegraph’s Christopher Williams.  Whilst this is just one example and great news for UK business we should be mindful of the lessons learnt from the previous few years in the financial services sector. With store credit seeming to be more freely available how do we ensure that as consumers, we remain protected from our spending exuberance?  Mystery shopping how consumer credit is sold at your point of sale can be an important tool and can help to protect your business against poor sales practices. So is it time for you to consider mystery shopping consumer credit sales?

The offers at tills for store credit can seem appealing, but can carry risks for both consumers and companies alike. Consumers need presenting with the right information so that they are able to make informed decisions on the financial products they choose. As a financial product, store cards are still covered by the financial conduct authority  and it is important that any consumer credit in store is sold in the right way.

For some useful  information on consumer credit and the role of the FCA go to

As a company you can help prevent yourself from misselling and poor customer service by understanding the six Treating Customer Fairly outcomes (TCF)

Treating Customers Fairly and Mystery Shopping Consumer Credit Sales

  • Outcome 1: Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
  • Outcome 2: Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly.
  • Outcome 3: Consumers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
  • Outcome 4: Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
  • Outcome 5: Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect.
  • Outcome 6: Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

So when assessing your cashier staff in relation to the sales of consumer credit products you  can be confident of the above outcomes above.

Why don’t you ask yourself the following questions in relation to the sale of consumer credit at your points of sale.

  • Are your cashiers well informed on the sales of consumer credit?
  • Do they mislead the customer?
  • Do they explain the cooling off period?
  • Do they provide the customer with all the relevant information?

If the answer is no to any of the above it might be time to consider a mystery shopping programme. Mystery Shopping Companies can work with you to build an appropriate mystery shopper role play and  by conducting mystery shopping of consumer credit sales aligned to TCF outcomes, you can be confident that you are delivering products that serve both the consumer and company well in the long term.

Written by James Harper – Digital Sales & Marketing Manager – Linkedin Google+ 10/10/2014