Mystery Shopping seems to be an underdog when it comes to market research. Although the method has been used by marketing research companies for over 80 years, especially in the United States, it has not been used widely here in Asian countries, particularly Malaysia.
Mystery shoppers are simply people who conduct services to enhance customer service for companies worldwide. These people who run are usually from a market research company hired to do the tasks or freelancers/independent contractors. Any business can apply mystery shopping ranging from B2C to B2B. The most common industries that use this method are restaurants, movie theatres, retail, e-commerce, banks, gas stations, etc.
Benefits of Mystery Shopping
Imagine if you were in your customer’s shoes. It is essential to inspect and review your business through the lens of the customer. You get an honest review and information that may be very valuable to your business that you haven’t exploited yet. At times, gaining insights from your staff could be less effective since their comments or reviews are biased to look after the company’s reputation. The assessment of a mystery shopper doesn’t just include the whereabouts of the staff or the store location. Simultaneously, mystery shoppers can assess or evaluate the process of the customer’s journey. They can better understand confusing elements such as business flows and unmanageable tasks dealing with demanding customers. To conclude, mystery shopper can indicate these issues within your company, and things can be resolved smoothly then.
Customer service is the niche of mystery shopping. No other method comes close to this since it allows the mystery shoppers to disguise themselves as customers. Mystery shoppers can gather data and inform business owners of procedures, behaviors, or employees who made their customer experience positive or negative by reporting on their communication with employees. Business owners can then use the information and implement new policies, train staff, or look for specific criteria when making hiring decisions.
Another crucial function of mystery shopping is to provide data about the selling process in a store. Their experience can lay out insights into how you can sell more products, ranging from making some changes to the layout of the product in the store, uncovering products that you like or dislike, or grasping the knowledge of how sales techniques affect the customers’ desire to proceed with a purchase. Online price check is another important factor in increasing sales, especially in the retail industry. Having a marketing team or mystery shoppers conduct price monitoring can be time-saving since you don’t have to assign your staff to your rival’s store to collect the price, product, and promotion. Hence, your company can stay ahead of the competition.
Apart from using mystery shopping to gain better insights into your business, business owners can also assign these mystery shoppers to answer a question you possibly have. Mystery shoppers can then go into your store with a specific assignment, such as finding out the ease of item return, measuring employee helpfulness, simulating a conflict to test outcome or reactions, and measuring the level of product layout efficiency. You can also get additional data and enhance your business by applying this method.
Every benefit from mystery shopping activities leads to much better use: Customer Retention. If a customer faces too many challenges, they are likely to do business elsewhere (your competitor) when the service contract expires or, worst-case scenario, in the middle of the contract. Hence, this is where mystery shopping can assist your business in measuring the time to resolution and number of contact points midway. Each improvement you apply in your business as an outcome of the actionable insights obtained from a mystery shopping program leads to more excellent customer service, which sequentially prompts the customers to choose your company over your rivals.
Hargapedia is a price comparison shopping site that provides the best price comparison product from reputable online and offline retailers. Intrack Malaysia is a market research company specializing in FMCG and retail business. The company also released Hargapedia App, a comparison app for grocery, health, and beauty prices. More than 1,000,000 Malaysians downloaded this trusted app, and Hargapedia has assisted them in quickly saving on their household shopping. Visit Intrack today to learn more about Hargapedia and other services.