Mystery shopping

Measure exactly what different types of customers experience and compare it to the journey your competitors deliver.

Mystery Shoppping

Sometimes the only way to find out how well your sales channels are working, and how well they are co-ordinated, is to test them and to compare them to your competitors.

Mystery shopping does exactly that. Our shoppers assume the characteristics of your most important personas, an agreed objective (or basket) and then record every step of their journey.  They can then repeat the shop with your competitors and compare their experiences.

This unambiguous evidence is a hugely powerful driver to change.

What exactly is Mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is the detailed measurement of customers’ experiences as they interact with your organisation, to enquire o.  We ensure your staff are not aware of our role or that they are being measured (hence the mystery).  This ensures we don’t get special treatment and our experiences accurately reflect what happens to your customers.

Our mystery shoppers assume the characteristics of your most important customer types and before we start the project we agree the objectives of each shop and exactly what we will measure.  In this way we can test the specific scenarios that are of greatest interest.

Typically, we will look at different channels and what happens when customers start a process in one channel and later move to another.

We use screen recordings, audio and video so we can show your teams exactly what happens.  When we are testing face-to-face interactions, we use concealed cameras. Organisations find this footage particularly powerful for use in their sales training.

Hidden cameras record a home sales visit

What we do

We generally start by identifying your different types of customers (customer personas).  For example, some Clients want to see how the experiences of users and influencers vary or how vulnerable customers are treated.

Next is a detailed look at the shopping scenarios of greatest interest.  This may include how experiences vary in different geographies, or how different channels perform or to look at specific customer objectives (sign up, buy product X and so on).

Before shopping can go live, we need to create ‘clean’ shopper identities.  Often it is vital that our shoppers’ contact details have not been used before and will not show up on the database.

We will recommend how each different type of interaction should be measured and scored based on our experience of best practice across many sectors and industries.  We always share this with Clients and will tailor it to your exact needs.

When the shopping is conducted, we ensure every interaction is recorded using a mix of screen grabs, audio and video.  All marketing materials are kept and date stamped. For face-to-face interactions a variety of hidden recording techniques are used so your teams can see and hear exactly what happened.

A full written report and analysis of our experiences is produced so that at the time, and in the future your teams can review the data as they develop change programmes.

Short, cut-down videos of interactions are particularly powerful.  Whilst this type of footage cannot be broadcast (unless the relevant release forms have been completed) organisations do use them internally to bring Customer experiences to life and for staff training.

We always present our findings to stakeholders, in person.  This gives you a chance to query our mystery shoppers in detail and really get under the skin of their experiences.

Mystery Shopping typical detailed output
Typical detailed output from mystery shopping

At the end of the project all footage/tapes and any products purchased will be provided to you.

What our Clients say about our Mystery shopping:

We asked Customer Journey Consultancy to Mystery Shop our sales process and the resulting research has been hugely beneficial to us and has had a profound impact on the team. We have made substantial changes to the structure of the team, the resources that they use and the sales process they follow.

Fiona Neil, Head of Group Communications, Stannah