WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING?

A real-life example

member's certificate

Our Mrs. Smith enters one of the branch offices of your company with the goal of, say, informing herself about pension planning.

Mrs. Smith registers every detail, starting with the overall impression of the customer assistance area; the greeting; the consultation as such; the overall impression of the staff member; the "feel-good factor"; both the general and individual offers received; and naturally everything in connection with complementary purchases/offers.

Once outside the branch office, Mrs. Smith fills out the standard structured questionnaire, which is one of the most important puzzle pieces for the overall evaluation.

The two faces of Mystery Shopping

Objective evaluation from the company point of view (monitoring function)

  • Monitoring of employees for adherence to company guidelines
  • Monitoring of formal criteria such as politeness, appearance, greeting etc.

Subjective evaluation from the consumer point of view (sales function)

  • Evaluation of the "feel-good factor" and the willingness to purchase additional/complementary items
  • Evaluation of whether the customer would be prepared to recommend the company to others, to revisit etc.

Mystery Shopping as navigational tool for your company and/or brand objectives

The following aspects may be tested:

  • Employee motivation programs
  • Effects and level of efficiency of trainings
  • Whether/to what extent employees recommend articles, offer additional wares etc.
  • How do the employees represent my company and/or my brand?

Mystery Shopping as a foundation for customer loyalty programs

„To the unsatisfied customer the strongest of all weapons is the spreading of bad news.”
Unsatisfied customers who provide feedback to the company Unsatisfied customers who provide feedback to the company

It is twenty times simpler and cheaper to generate additional business through satisfied existing customers than to acquire new ones. Turning existing customers into "recommenders" is the strategy which is most efficient and has the most potential to succeed.

There are, however, some issues to keep in mind:

  • On average, a company receives no feedback from 96% of its unsatisfied customers.
  • On average, a customer who has a problem with a company tells 9-10 other people about the problem.

The discovery of weak points in customer assistance and sales in your own company is the principle mission of Mystery Shopping.

Mystery Shopping classic

Mystery Shopping is our core business. We carry out test purchases and evaluate the quality of service provided by personnel. We offer Mystery Shopping for all industries and market sectors by way of:

  • Mystery Shopping in person (with or without feedback)
  • Mystery Calls
  • Mystery E-mails

Over 1,000 Mystery Shoppers

Test shoppers from all walks of life work for us. The best suited individual for the project will be selected on the basis of age, gender, social status etc. Our testers reside in all regions of Austria.

From Berlin to Novosibirsk

We carry out Mystery Shopping for a great variety of sectors. We have been active in Mystery Shopping for many years not only in Austria, but also in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Croatia, Serbia and Russia.

Mystery Diversity

These tools originate in Diversity Management and take into account the increasing diversity of our society.

Mystery Minority

Nearly a fifth of the total Austrian population has migrant roots. As consumers, this portion of the population is rapidly gaining in importance. This is why we also offer a special team of experienced testers with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Mystery Age

Mystery Age is an umbrella term for methods utilized to evaluate the "young-at-heart" age group. As a matter of course, the testers used for these projects belong to this age group.

Mystery Shopping 50+ (PDF, 729kb)

Mystery Business

The term Mystery Business encompasses all the instruments utilized to survey actual, concrete business data.

Mystery CPA

CPA stands for "Competitor's Price Analysis." Our testers are equipped with detailed and comprehensive background information on the relevant topic(s). They are assigned the task of acquiring information, concrete terms and conditions, and any relevant documents.

Mystery B2B

Within the framework of Mystery B2B, real companies are hired to function as Mystery Shoppers: "companies test companies." Here, the objective may be to evaluate the quality of service provided, or to obtain "hard" facts.

© 2016 Hoffmann & Forcher