How to set up a mystery shopping programme

9th Nov 2020

Before rolling out a mystery shopping programme, you need to set some clear expectations. What are you looking for, what do you want to achieve when reading the reports?

When I first looked at the waggle dance pattern, I couldn’t stop thinking about this virtual CX cycle I kept talking about, and suddenly it just all made sense. I thought the analogy of the “waggle dance” was just perfect to use in any business to work on any project, so a Mystery Shopping programme will have 4 steps:

  1. Assess: determine what is to be measured, why you are doing this programme, what are the objectives.
  2. Develop: the programme, design your questionnaire, determine what type of evaluation method is to be used, such as on-site visits, hidden video, audio recording, and online interactions, etc…
  3. Implement/Train: roll out the programme internally.
  4. Measure: roll out the programme externally.

And then start again:

  1. Assess the results.
  2. Develop new strategies, SMART objectives, you can download how to develop SMART objectives in the resources on the book webpage.
  3. Implement/train.
  4. And measure again… You see the virtual cycle??

Over the years, I realised that a lot of the small businesses couldn’t really afford to use my services and this is why I decided to create a Mystery Shopping online training course, so ALL businesses can benefit from the results of a Mystery Shopping Programme.

Ok, it is important to remember that putting a Mystery Shopping programme by yourself can have an impact on your results. Imagine having a friend coming into your establishment and having to give some feedback on her sister it may not be completely bias…

Some reasons why doing it internally can give you false results:

  • the person may know the other person so they will feel they can’t really say what happens because they are their colleagues or they know them.
  • they may give you over positive feedback because they ‘like’ you.
  • or over critical because they don’t…
  • they may not be able to give you detailed information because they are not trained to look at specifics.
  • may not remember what you asked to measure and miss elements.
  • they may not be able to relate to their conversation with your staff in an objective manner.
  • they be recongnised, because you have sent the same person a few times, no rotations has been done.
  • they may not be the right profile for your typical customers and may not give the right feedback.
  • it may take you a lot of time to find people, train them and manage them.

So, I have given you an outline of what a programme should look like, now you can learn how to develop and roll out a programme yourself, by following my step by step method, and start seeing the change in your business.

This is an excerpt of my new book The Secret Diary of a Mystery Shopper - get your copy if you want to know more…

Using professionals probably will save you time and money in the long run, and give you better results, remember always use a MSPA member…

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