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How to Choose a Mystery Shopping Company?

Aug 21

Written by:
8/21/2012 9:55 AM  RssIcon


When it comes to mystery shopper programs, each company offers something different from the others. Some mystery shopping companies only provide mystery shopper services to a single industry, for instance, the hospitality industry, while others reserve their mystery shopper services for either small-sized or large-sized companies. Some mystery shopping companies offer automated services while others don’t. Then there are some mystery shopping companies that provide consulting, customer feedback programs, or other related services aimed at evaluating customer service.


It is therefore important to conduct a bit of a research in order to find a company that can provide you with the resources you require for turning your business into a success. In this blog post we will provide you some information that will hopefully help you in making the right decision when choosing a mystery shopping company.


Consider your company’s needs before beginning your search. . .

You need to examine your company’s needs before you begin your search for a mystery shopping company. Doing so is important as it will give you an idea about what to ask or tell the mystery shopping companies you contact.


Make a list of the customer service issues confronting your company. Then decide how you want a mystery shopper program fashioned to address them.  An important thing to consider and decide at this stage is the kind of report you will need from mystery shoppers. Decide whether you require a simple check-list type of report or a detailed one. Decide how the mystery shopper program will be monitored and how the information received will be analyzed. See if you already have a mechanism for analyzing the data you receive, or if you will need the mystery shopping company to provide one.




Delve into the options available to you with due diligence. . .

You will save considerable time and energy if you know where to start your search. A good idea is to start with key searches and systematic eliminate others while retaining a few that look promising. There are several ways to search mystery shopping companies. A good idea is to check the database at MSPA’s website. There are other online resources too that provide listings of mystery shopping companies. Once you narrow down your search to a few companies, visiting the websites of those companies can really help you reach a decision. In fact, it is advisable to check the websites of the companies you choose before formally contacting them. Their websites will have detailed information about the various mystery shopper programs they offer and other related services they provide.


Things to check when contacting a company. . .

Once you've done your initial research and narrowed down your options, it's time to contact the companies to learn more about their services. Your initial contact with a company will tell you a lot about the quality of service they provide. If you are not able to reach someone on the first attempt, or if you leave a message and your call isn’t returned in a prompt manner, it says a lot about the quality of service the company is providing. Once you get through to someone, pay attention to what he or she says and asks. It is a good sign if the company’s representative asks you a lot of questions about your business and what exactly you need from the company, as it shows that the company is interested in you. Remember, a good mystery shopping company will want to know more about your business, needs, concerns and prior mystery shopping experiences before getting down to discussing mystery shopper programs.


Check if the mystery shopping company offers custom mystery shopper programs or if they only have generic programs. A good mystery shopping company will always be willing to customize their mystery shopper program to suit the specific needs of your business. Also check if the company provides services other than mystery shopping, for instance, analytical reports, customer feedback programs, etc. Even if you don’t currently need such services, it is better to choose a company that provides other services in addition to mystery shopping as you might need such services in the future.


If you do most of what is mentioned above, you should be able to choose a mystery shopping company without much difficulty once you are done contacting the companies you short-listed.


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