Knowledge is power. In customer service, it's also profit.

Add Mystery Shopping to Your Mix

Posted by Jill Donnelly on October 04, 2012

add-mystery-shopping-to-your-mixA recent article in Fast Company, by customer experience expert Kerry Bodine, urges organizations to, “supplement surveys and focus groups with additional customer research methods”.  What’s CSE’s take on this advice?  We agree!

Gathering valuable, relevant, actionable data from humans about their experiences is a tough task.  Each person comes into a situation with differing expectations, past experiences, needs and wants.  When organizations want to get to the bottom of an issue (our retention rate is too low) or make crucial decisions on how to allocate their budgets-you’d better believe that basing these decisions on research is imperative.

Surveys and focus groups are part of the mix.  Each has their own benefits: surveys can quantify people’s perceptions and focus groups are designed to personify the participants’ opinions.  Yet, to get timely, relevant, realistic feedback on a person’s experience with your organization, mystery shopping is a crucial ingredient in your research strategy.

According to the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Providers Association), “Mystery shopping gives business owners, operators, and executives insights into the extent to which a company' is delivering on its brand promises at the point of interaction with the customer.  Through the use of unbiased third-parties who objectively record their experiences, mystery shopping providers help their clients understand what the average customer is experiencing, what staff behaviors should be acknowledged and rewarded, and areas of customer service and customer interaction that can be improved.”

Mystery shopping offers the only true measure of a person’s experience with your brand.  This data helps to facilitate the following outcomes:

  • Monitors and protects the brand
  • Improves the workforce
  • Improves customer satisfaction
  • Builds customer loyalty
  • Increases customer frequency
  • Improves bottom line

To learn more about how mystery shopping services would work for your organization, please see the resources below.

Our client, University of Maryland University College (UMUC), improved their overall customer satisfaction scores by using mystery shopping to support their service culture. Mystery shop scores increased by 73.3% over the course of one year! Learn more about how they achieved this success:

Learn 5 important things your company should consider when searching for and selecting a mystery shopping provider:

Gathering actionable data from employees and customers is the first step to creating the best solution for improvement.  Learn more about CSE's measurement solutions: