What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping is a term used to describe the assessment of customer service by professional shoppers posing as customers. Some companies have in-house programs, whereby the company hires its own mystery shoppers. Other firms hire "outside" companies like Campus Consulting to provide this service for them.

Mystery shopping is becoming more popular among chain stores because good customer service means higher, steadier sales. Happy customers will return more often and will spend more per shopping visit.

Competition in the retail sector is increasing and becoming more aggressive. Companies are entering the market and providing more selection and better service in order to attract customers. Customer service is now being used to differentiate one retailer from another.

An effective mystery shopping program improves customer service. Store staff and managers will respond to such a program by improving service levels for each customer when they know that a program is in place. Managers can also monitor the company's own standards and policies as set out for the store workers.

Mystery shopping is usually run on a continuous basis with monthly or twice-monthly visits to each store.  There is a setup fee to get the program up and running and a per store visit fee.  The setup and per store fee vary depending on what is required.  Shoppers are usually required to purchase a small item in the store as part of the evaluation process of the cash desk.  The shopper is not expected to return the item. 

We have a large pool of available shoppers across the U.S. and Canada to choose from when designing a program.  Shoppers are rotated on a regular basis to keep store workers from guessing who the shopper is. 

An evaluation form can be designed such that a scoring is made of the visit.  The results of all store visits can be summarized on a spreadsheet for a quick comparison.  The cost of the spreadsheet is about $15 per visit.

After the shopper submits the report through our web site, we will then edit the report and email it directly to the client.

If you have any questions and are interested in setting up a program for your stores, please contact us for more information.