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FAQs

  • What is Mystery Shopping Research?  

    Mystery shopping is a market research technique for monitoring and measuring organisation performance. Interactions which take place between customers and company employees are tested using pre-defined set of scenarios. These are often developed by customer experience teams, operations managers or marketing teams to help measure important business KPIs. 

    Mystery shopping relies on observation and recall of the outcomes by the shopper. The mystery shopping survey is then completed off site or after the visit has taken place. When using video mystery shopping the survey can be used as a guide to score the overall performance alongside the video evidence. In this instance the video can be more conclusive and is not open to interpretation. 

    Whichever method is adopted the mystery shopper remains covert for the activity and will assess areas which can have an impact on the customer service. 

    Elements often tested can include the environment, staff friendliness and product knowledge. In some instances, the shopper may also consider things such as the number of people in a queue, the number of tills open at a certain time, what items and brands are present on a shelf.

  • How much does mystery shopping cost?

    Whilst we aim to provide a premium service, our charges are very competitive and can often compete with the low price high volume 'tick list' style operators. Our policy on pricing is to be as open and transparent as possible. Ballpark costings can usually be provided on a same day basis if project outlines are provided by email.

  • What makes you different from other mystery shopping companies?

    The essential difference is one of consistency and quality. We have a stringent and demanding recruitment procedure. and a constant review process whereby every report submitted by the shopper goes through the hands of a third party editor who ensures that the report is written and scored fairly and objectively. We also pride ourselves on embracing technology where we can see clear benefits. This is reflected in our web based reporting platform, our use of automated text services and our video streaming service (replacing the need to post out DVD’s).

  • Can you help write our questionnaire/survey?

    Yes. We like to get involved in questionnaire design as we have years of experience in terms of what works and how to get the best results. We can either assist with your questionnaire/survey or write it from scratch from a basic set of objectives. See our blog post on how to write a mystery shopping survey.

  • How long does it take to get a programme up and running?

    For a simple programme we can have a schedule of visits up and running within a matter of days providing we have full co-operation from the client. Our clients generally operate in a fast moving environment and we reflect that in our own approach.

  • Is video mystery shopping legal?

    Video mystery shopping is legal in the UK providing you comply with the data protection act. We can give our clients guidance in this area and even provide suitable content for communicating the initiative to staff.

  • What if my managers disagree with the results?

    Our software incorporates a manager appeal process enabling your managers to appeal directly against scoring decisions which they feel are incorrect. Our project manager can respond using the same process so that anyone viewing the report can see the appeal and the outcome. A fair and efficient appeals process is an essential part of any successful programme.

  • Can I combine video and written reporting in one programme?

    Absolutely. We provide both services in-house so you can specify which locations get which type of visit and the programme can be delivered seamlessly. The only difference being that with written reporting, the scores are supported by comments from the shopper and with video, the scores are supported by a streamed video.

  • Will I incur extra cost by changing the survey or reorganising my locations?

    We recognise that your programme will need to evolve so we don’t charge for changes to the survey or alterations to your area structure. Due to the way our software is configured, we can make such changes quickly with the minimum of fuss.

  • Do you provide a regular management summary?

    We can send you a regular management summary in the file type of your choice (e.g. PowerPoint, PDF, Excel or Word) or you can login and retrieve the information yourself. With our web based platform, all reporting is real time so your summary information is live and reflects the latest results relating to your programme.

  • Can I compare my performance with other retailers and service providers?

    Yes. We have a Universal Question Set which is present for all our clients. This benchmarks service against a very basic set of criteria and enables you to compare the service delivered by your company against an average of all our other clients.

  • How can I be sure that mystery shopping is a good investment?

    We have been involved in numerous studies where mystery shopping results have been tracked alongside mystery shopping KPI's such as Average Transaction Value, Customer Conversion Rates, Sales Targets, etc. All go to prove that staff who score well in a mystery shopping study are more profitable to your business. It therefore makes sense to invest money in your staff to help them become better at their job, to help them build transaction values and to help them close more sales.

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