Mystery shopper agencies are not reserved for large corporations with hundreds of franchise operations around the country. Mystery shoppers are not just for restaurants or retail shops. Mystery shopping is also not a scam job that people fall for via email spam.
Yet, to an outsider, the concept may seem odd — why would a company want to pay someone to shop in their store? Companies ranging in size from very large multinationals to small businesses hire a mystery shopper agency to be the “undercover” eyes and ears of their operations. In general, there are five main reasons companies hire a mystery shopper firm.
1. They Want Unbiased Feedback Anyone affiliated with a business in any way, shape or form is bound to be a bit biased. This results in over-exaggerated responses to their shopping experiences, both good and bad. An experienced mystery shopper is able to provide extensive, unbiased feedback that business owners can use to ultimately improve all aspects their operations.
2. They Need Someone to Check In on their Operation When the cat is away, the mice will play. Not only is hiring a mystery shopper an excellent way for out-of-state business owners to check in on operations, but it is also a great way for business owners and managers to gain insight into operations when they are off-site.
3. They Want to be Proactive A mystery shopper is able to spot potential issues before they become large-scale problems. In fact, the majority of companies that hire a mystery shopper agency to conduct audits at their businesses do not do so because they have issues. Rather, they do it to be proactive about any issues that may arise.
4. They Want to Conduct a Brand Audit Mystery shopper brand audits have not only become commonplace, but crucial for chain stores and franchise locations as they help companies ensure that branding and operating standards are being upheld. These audits also determine if all promotions have proper follow through on the store level. When done by experts, mystery shopper brand audits evaluate consistency in branding and confirm that marketing dollars are being well-spent.
5. They Want to Scope out the Competition Many businesses use a mystery shopper agency to provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors, helping them find out what is important to their customer and use that to their advantage to help improve their own business.
Companies of any size can benefit from hiring mystery shoppers to research their different locations. And they are not just limited to retail operations. Government agencies, B2B businesses and even utility companies can benefit from the unbiased feedback they get from a mystery shopper agency.