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Technology and Mystery Shopping

Businesses deploy a wide variety of mechanisms for measuring consumer perspectives about their brand. Over the next few days we will look into the varieties of tools that are used.

Mystery shopping, the practice of deploying trained agents into establishments for the purposes of transactional observation, is an excellent tool for determining whether a company’s processes, protocol and standards are being met. Mystery shopping programs have evolved with the technology. Businesses now have many choices when it comes to receiving feedback. The most common mystery shop is the standard in-person visit. The shopper visits the location, and provides responses within 24 hours after the visits are completed. The standard technology available now allows for clients to receive that completed visit feedback within 24-48 hours after a shop is completed.

The problem that companies have had with this form of measurement is that it can be both costly, as well as difficult to authenticate. However,today’s shoppers are armed with new tools of the trade because of the standardization of digital technology.

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Clients are now able to hear and see the proof they have long needed. Gone are the notebooks and cassette recorders, and in their place are digital recorders and mini-cameras and portable dvrs. Within recent years, clients can now see and hear what they’ve been missing. Body language, grammar, and even voice tonality are all additional checkpoints that are measurable. Without sight or sound, the actual encounter with the associate has been elusive: Associates may touch on all the necessary points, without really building rapport with the customer. Audio and video also eliminate any questions of subjectivity on behalf of the shopper. Mystery shops have now become a powerful training tool, both for the individual shopped and for an entire company.