Mystery shopping isn’t limited to only Fortune 500 companies in major metropolitan cities. Mystery shops are being assigned in cities across the country, in businesses of all sizes. We’ve heard that there’s a recent mystery shopping boom in Amarillo, Texas. Mystery shopping companies in the area are looking to hire hundreds of people to do the shops.
Common places for assignments in Amarillo have been retail stores in the mall and local restaurants. Whatever the case may be, the major thread running through all the mystery shops is customer service. For example, in a restaurant, an unidentified, unannounced shopper might be looking to see if the drinks come in a certain time period, or if the food is hot. He or she might also report on the behavior of the server. The secret shopper then submits their findings to the mystery shopping company, who then compiles the information into a report for their client.
So how does mystery shopping benefit these businesses?
In step with the industry, these Amarillo mystery shopping companies are aiming to help their clients by showing them a “behind the scenes” look at how a customer experiences their business. Through this method, management can see where expectations are not being met, or where retraining may be necessary. But the mystery shop isn’t all about criticism. When an employee performs well on a mystery shop, management can acknowledge and reward that employee. In the end, the mystery shopping industry’s main goal is to provide data that will help clients develop better customer experiences.
This helps the local businesses of Amarillo grow in a variety of ways. The feedback businesses receive about the attentiveness and promptness of employees are two effective deterrents of of loss prevention — both of actual merchandise (people who are contacted immediately are less likely to steal) and customers (people will leave when they go unnoticed). Mystery shoppers give an accurate observation that is neutral compared employee behavior that might occur when “the boss is around.” Businesses can also mystery shop their competitors to collect data about their customer service.
We’re interested to see how the results of this recent mystery shopping boom will affect businesses in Amarillo. We’re also curious to see if similarly-sized cities will take the same approach in the near future.