Mystery Shoppers are still in high demand

Some interesting exerts from an article in the Sunday Star times 29th January 2016. Along with some additional comments from Incognito Experience

After a lull about six years ago it is "the hard research boys" that are again recognising the value of mystery shopping alongside online surveys. "Growth in online shopping is far greater than in store spending, so it's really important that retailers are providing a top notch customer experience." New Zealand has half a dozen major players offering mystery shopping services that go well beyond reporting on staff/customer interactions . Incognito is fast making a reputation for excellence in this highly competitive market.

Despite the ease of online customer surveys, often offering the chance to win prizes, Merceica believes there will always be a place for the face-to-face element and the objectivity of mystery shopping.Patton agrees, saying that online feedback is often negative and incentives like prizes lead to biased results.A mystery shopper can pick up little things that can make a big difference to customer service such as feeling unwelcome, and a lack of knowledge about merchandise, warranties, specials and loyalty schemes. "All that stuff impacts on bottom linesAlthough "mystery shoppers" are often associated with retail, users of the service include banks, hotels, fast food chains, health providers, pawnbrokers, petrol stations, bars, restaurants and airlines businesses.

The owner of a national homewares chain says investing $1200 in getting all of its branches mystery shopped once a month is money well spent. "If you're conscious of every person possibly being the mystery shopper, that's a good thing."The real benefit is that you can take that [mystery shopper] report, sit down with the team member that got 'shopped' and talk about what they did well, what they missed, and how to do better next time."The skill of a good mystery shopper is to blend in, stick to the script, and not get "sprung" by suspicious assistants.Being observant, reliable, tech-savvy, having a good memory are some of the other attributes companies are look for when recruiting.
Incognito Experience Ltd also places a strong expectation on our mystery shoppers ability to articulate clearly the experience they have had, long with fact based genuine observation that paint a clear picture for our clients. Numerical reporting is an expected norm, it is a given, but valuable observations articulated well provided the true treasures for our clients, giving them the ability to have meaningful conversations with their staff, reaffirm standards and expectations and also provide positive feedback to staff on their performance.

Incognito Experience believes it is the human interaction that counts most. That this is best served by having great service offered by friendly and knowledgeable staff who know that any opportunity to interact with a customer is a chance to make a sale.

Options for Mystery shopping

Experience Shopping:
Experience shopping comes in many forms including scenario shopping that checks that specific procedures are followed so to provide a consistent quality of service and experience

Audit Shopping: Ensure stores are complying with company policies on pricing, advertising promotions, training programs and staff dress standards.

Competitor shopping allows businesses to see how they compare with others in their sector.