Have you ever considered taking the art of secrecy and deception into the business world without being a criminal? Have you ever been intrigued by ninjas? Mystery shopping is a unique take on business improvement practices, and though it is only distantly related to being a ninja or a criminal, it does allow a certain perspective in quality control and respected business practices.
Mystery Shopping has many facets. At its core, it is about improving the quality of a business. Mystery shoppers are people who enter an establishment to find out what is wrong and what is right, and what can be improved. A mystery shopper assesses customer service interactions, such as how friendly the employees are and how quick they are able to get assistance. There are many barometers that mystery Shoppers will analyze, as dictated by who hired them. But the idea is that they are seeking information about the business without the knowledge of the employees.
A business, called business A, may hire business B who provides mystery shopping services. Business B finds people based on what business A provides them. If business A is concerned about how friendly and helpful the employees are, business B will tell their mystery shoppers to focus on that aspect of the business. They are then sent to the business to obtain information. They then report back to business B, who reports their findings to business A. The people are specifically chosen based on demographic, and are told to provide accurate and worthwhile information. Mystery Shopping is pivotal because it provides information without the employee’s awareness.
This finds customer services issues in vulnerable positions, as those who are unaware are not trying to find mistakes.
But of course, mystery shopping goes outside the realm of customer interaction. Mystery shoppers often look for visual displays and how appealing they are, cleanliness, or the variety of products featured. With that said, mystery shopping is most apparent in retail stores, fast food chains, and hotels. The whole idea is to supply feedback to a business for what can be improved upon.
Mystery Shopping’s validity is still being explored. But many businesses are turning to hands on feedback for improving their business practices. Entering into mystery shopping is almost as easy as finding people willing to be involved in the mystery shopping itself, and finding businesses that need that service.
At its core, these are your only two needs. Yet businesses who desire this service tend to slant towards the more successful larger businesses. This removes many smaller businesses. This is unfortunate, as smaller businesses make a large portion of business culture, and are simply not developed enough to justify and warrant mystery shopping services.
This brings your potential customers down significantly. Of course, with proper steps, you can move towards mystery shopping businesses while alternatively committing to other services. A business solely dealing in mystery shopping is arguably too focused to sustain itself for long. Tr y offering other business marketing services alongside mystery shopping. This will bring in more customers and allow you to provide a variety of services for quicker success.
Many businesses looking for this service stipulate the information they need. Besting competition may mean offering a wide variety of mystery analyses. If a company desires information strictly on product displays, perhaps you can offer them other analyses for free. This might persuade them that that other information is valued, as you convince them so. It will also give you a greater opportunity to flex your variable mystery shopping skills.
But the transparency of the business almost universally falls on your ability to acquire mystery shoppers. Clients will want specific individuals who fit their clientele, or a variety of individuals to round out their information. For example, a business may desire you to have Asian-Americans as mystery shoppers, if their demographic is so. Having a wide influx of possible mystery shoppers is necessary in supporting the demand of big businesses. Large corporations will not sell for incompetent or unsatisfactory results. Considering the larger lean of this specific service, one terrible report with a business can stall your own business for quite a long time, if not kill it entirely.
On another note, mystery shopping requires you to follow certain standards of practice. This ethical code determines quality of reviews, as well as how the mystery shoppers are to retrieve and analyze their data. Due to the secrecy of the whole affair, it can be a troublesome situation that may arise in legal ramifications. Always stay on top of requirements and do not fall victim to lazy researching.
Providing a mystery shopping service on its own is a tough course to follow. But substantiating that service with other business support services can allow you to succeed. Do not get involved in this business if you are not admittedly interested in producing quality results for businesses, and interested in their requests. As well, being socially adept is vital to obtaining mystery shoppers who can provide valuable information. With a small budget, you may be required to do the mystery shopping yourself. Always provide great information! Go above and beyond expectations and provide starting coherent and informative analyses of a business. This will justify other businesses to work with you, and will allow you a course for gaining customers and growing your fulfilling business