Shoppers' View Blog

Customer and Shopper — One and the Same

One common misperception about mystery shopping is that the shoppers providing insights somehow aren't "real." 

Companies fear that the shoppers they work with will not be representative of the shoppers they currently attract, nor those they hope to attract in the future.

And it's a fair criticism...of some mystery shopping programs.

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Optimize Your Mystery Shopping: The Ultimate List

We're confident that customer experience strategy (aka mystery shopping) gets results. But we're not a "set it and forget it" industry. The dedicated team at Shoppers' View is ready to hone your strategy for optimal results.

If you are currently employing mystery shopping, here's a checklist to ensure you're getting the most out of your mystery shopping set-up. Planning for the future? This list will guide the strategy for your next mystery shopping endeavor.

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Mystery Shopping + Corporate Culture

What makes a mystery shopping campaign "sticky"—bringing tangible results to your company through methods that have staying power? It's simple, but it's also easy to miss. Your mystery shopping program has to be a great fit with your corporation: your culture, your people, your values, your brand.

From your program set-up to post-program strategy, your mystery shopping campaign needs to look and feel like your own. Because at the end of the day, it's an initiative designed to work for you and your customers. 

When it comes to creating your campaign, you'll want it to work seamlessly with who you are as an organization. Here are questions to consider when charting your mystery shopping course.

Does this strategy fit with our brand and our story? 
Stay true to your company's story. For example, a mystery shopping program built around evaluating customer luxury and comfort might not be important for an organization touted for being the market's economical, no-frills option. Remember, you're looking to secure and expand customers who are drawn to your unique brand.

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Online training for your company

In the last blog post we discussed our reporting capabilities regarding mystery shopping programs. It is very important that the data being presented is organized and easily analyzed to make an impact on your organization.

What happens next? When we find issues, what is the best way to handle them? What if there are some training gaps with your front line? One option is to push the information down to the regional or area managers and hope that everyone gets retrained, but that might require some extra bandwidth. Another solution that has become very popular in the education space, not surprisingly, is the use of an online University. 

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(Video) Our Reporting Tools

One of the most important parts of a successful mystery shopping program is how the data is presented and analyzed. The data we collect for our clients is the main takeaway, the information can be as valuable a year from now as it is today. You can watch your trends year over year, or region by region and each executive of your company probably has a different piece of data that they would like to track.

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7 Industries in which Mystery Shopping is Essential (Pt. 2)

This is the second part of a two-part post on industries that need mystery shopping. If you've landed here, be sure to check out Part 1 first.

Consistent and sustainable practices, like those outlined in The Game of Inches by Nigel Collin, create long-term partnerships between businesses and clients. That's why mystery shopping, which helps you improve customer service early on, is important for your sustained sales.

Interested in four more key industries that maximize their impact through mystery shopping services? Let's jump right back in:

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7 Industries in which Mystery Shopping is Essential (Pt. 1)

Mystery shopping has long been a go-to practice in service industries like hospitality and retail. But today we'll look at several additional high-dollar industries where the results of mystery shopping can mean customer loyalty for life.

Evaluating customer service in the beginning stages of a conversation can make all the difference for a successful long-term partnership. The little things, over time, can raise a middle-of-the-road business to an industry leader. 

As promised last week, it's time to take a look at unexpected industries where mystery shopping can bring ROI in the form of lifelong customers.

1. Cell Phone Providers
There are two kinds of service that have the power to break a cell phone contract: poor cellular service or, after the inconvenience strikes, poor customer service. It's equally important to make sure that your towers are effective as it is to confirm that your service staff are friendly and helpful. Mystery shopping allows you to check in with your customers to see if they can hear you now and if they like what they're hearing.

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Mystery Shopping For High-Dollar Selling

Many people think mystery shoppers are only used by restaurants and retail stores where customer interaction is ever-present. And historically speaking, these have been two of the most common users of mystery shopping services. And it makes sense; when a company relies on hundreds or thousands of successful interactions to generate all of their revenue, it's critical that all of those individual interactions are of the highest quality to ensure the bottom line stays robust.

Taking this philosophy a step further is an emerging trend in the industry: using mystery shopping to measure competency and efficacy of salespeople in companies who focus on high-dollar interactions. Rather than monitoring hundreds or thousands of interactions, companies are using mystery shopping to ensure they are at the top of their game once they get in front of a client that will bring in game-changing revenue.

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Customer Satisfaction Surveys vs. Mystery Shopping


Clients often ask us: which SV method is right for my business? One of the most common strategy comparisons is customer satisfaction surveys vs. mystery shopping.

It's a discussion that depends on a few factors. We've seen organizations thrive in each method, of course, but there are key indicators that help us predict which may be more effective. Read on to get an idea of whether you need to employ mystery shoppers or surveys to get the data you're after.

When considering the following, choose which option more closely fits your organization's current goals, strengths, and position.

Few Locations vs. Many

  • If you have one or two storefronts, you may not need to employ secret shoppers. In this case, surveys can best gauge the temperature of your customer experience.
  • With many locations, you'll want to check in on key stores that create a representative sample. You'll want eyes and ears in your brick-and-mortar (or online!) storefronts, and that's the work of a mystery shopper. 
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(video) Keep your competitive edge

Competitiors, they're always up to something...

Do you compete for business on a national level? If so, we can help.


  • What are their product offerings?

  • What are their prices?

  • How do they reward their customers (customer loyalty)?

  • What are their marketing activities?

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