Mystery shopping is an effective way to investigate, understand, and monitor business practices across several industries. Using a simple strategy, businesses across the globe have rooted out problematic employees, procedures, and policies to establish new levels of customer trust and brand recognition.
What Is A Mystery Shopper?
A mystery shopper, also known as a secret shopper, is a person employed by a retailer, restaurants, hotels, e-commerce, government, and every major industry to pose as a shopper to evaluate customer service, regulatory compliance, SOPs, and more. A mystery shopper has the task of purchasing a specific product or asking a series of questions that directly relate to their purpose of being a mystery shopper.
Where Do You Find A Mystery Shopper?
Ordinarily, you can find a mystery shopper in the MENA Region (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, and Jordan) through a Mystery shopping agency specializing in improving customer services. The Mystery shopping agency will select a mystery shopper in the country of interest to help monitor the requested inquiries about your business.
What Businesses Do Mystery Shoppers Shop?
A mystery shopper in the MENA Region (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Dubai, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Lebanon, and Jordan) can help several businesses, including automotive dealerships, retail stores, restaurants, banks, and more. If you are interested in hiring a Mystery shopping agency firm and want to ensure a mystery shopper in the UAE can thoroughly inspect and investigate your establishment, click here.
Does A Mystery Shopper Only Check Customer Service and Products?
Yes and no. A mystery shopper is a catch-all term. Mystery shopping agency agencies will refer any person relaying investigative information to them for a retailer as a mystery shopper. Several mystery shoppers inspect food safety when they visit restaurants. It is not just about purchasing goods and services but ensuring compliance with regulatory practices.
How Do You Use A Mystery Shopper To Improve Your Business?
A mystery shopper can help guide any business, big or small, in the correct direction. A Mystery shopping agency will need your input and requirements to ensure a complete investigation. It would be best always to investigate the following when you use a mystery shopper.
A mystery shopper should check for customer service. This is the most significant failure in any business. Customers have stated that they feel encouraged to impulse buy and spend more in establishments where they feel valued. Customer service provides immense value to consumers. They will be more likely to shop at that establishment if their needs are met.
A mystery shopper can report how the establishment handled their grievances. If these customer service reports are different from what you expect, you have found an immediate place for improvement without letting your employees know. This is great for high-end restaurants priding themselves on good food and service.
Every city, province, and country has specific regulatory practices. Restaurants, for instance, have strict quality control they must follow and behavior that is expected of them to function as a restaurant. This can include employees washing their hands, storing, presenting, and preparing food, and serving food. A mystery shopper can pretend to be a patron and ensure regulatory practices are being followed.
Aside from restaurants, mystery shoppers can ensure that certain establishments disclose legal or regulatory information before purchasing. This information can help avoid penalties and fines from local officials if they decide to inspect the establishment themselves. For example, in a bank, if the teller does not inform the customer of specific rules, restrictions, and fees, they could be violating regulatory compliance.
Store Policy Enforcement
Suppose your establishment has policies that must be followed. In that case, a mystery shopper can relay that information to you and the Mystery shopping agency. Whether it is a personal policy or a government-mandated policy (i.e., age requirements, license restrictions, etc.), a mystery shopper can help find where employees are failing. This can be simple, like forgetting to suggest special deals or services to more heinous actions such as serving alcohol to minors or during prohibited holidays.
Similarly to customer service, when consumers see that store policies are being enforced to the promised letter, they are more inclined to seek services there. A responsible establishment inspires trust, and a mystery shopper can help establish that early.
When you make someone a manager, they need to be able to enforce everything listed above. Suppose a manager is under investigation by a mystery shopper. In that case, they can inform you and the Mystery shopping agency of the manager’s behavior.
How do the employees speak to the manager? Does the manager ensure they receive time off? Does the manager personally assist customers and enforce store policies? A mystery shopper can ensure a manager is operating your establishment to the letter.
Employee Productivity and Behavior
A mystery shopper can monitor employee performance and productivity. Every business owner knows only some employees will be a star upholding the best of the business. However, a mystery shopper in Dubai can relay just how productive a particular establishment is to the Mystery shopping agency. If employees appear to fail in productivity or customer service needs are not met, a mystery shopper can relay that. Business owners can use that information to make informed decisions about employee productivity and areas for improvement.
Alongside productivity, if employees behave in a way that is against company policy or detrimental to the business, a mystery shopper can report this. It would help if you halted excessive cursing, obscene gestures, and blatant disregard for policies before real customers take their business elsewhere.
Why Not Plant Your Friends or Family?
While it is usually more affordable to ask a friend to check out your store, a professional mystery shopper is an expert. They can help spot things you may not be aware of and garner no suspicion. Mystery shopping agency agencies don’t just pick anyone to be a mystery shopper.
In short, trust the Mystery shopping agency and its process.
Who Can Provide Reliable Mystery Shoppers?
GWR Consulting has professional experience surveying, conducting, and training establishments in better business practices through a mystery shopper program. Our experts and analysts have served over 500 clients with over 1000 brands across 27 countries for almost twenty years.
Don’t hesitate to contact us here to ensure your business performs at its peak.