Types of mystery shoppers: What are there and what do they specialize in?
The use of a mystery shopper in market research and customer experience evaluation has been widely adopted by various industries in recent years, in such a way that today we can find different types of mystery shopper.
Any company that wants to measure satisfaction around a product, service, installation or operation can employ a mystery shopper, which means that they are not always “buying”, but also experiencing a service or attending an event.
If you are interested in learning more about this innovative market trend, in this article we will present an overview of the classification of mystery shoppers according to the mode in which they operate or by the line of business they evaluate.
Who are usually mystery shoppers?
A mystery shopper is a person who visits a business posing as a common customer, with the aim of measuring the quality of the customer experience, observing details and evaluating the practical and real development of the service provided. The result of this visit is a detailed report of the visit to the store from the perspective of a common customer.
Mystery shoppers are usually freelancers or people who do this as a side job and are paid a fee to conduct each of the audits. If the audit involves buying or consuming something, the contracting companies provide them with a partial or full refund of what they will spend.
What types of mystery shoppers are there?
Mystery shoppers can be classified according to the modality in which they carry out their evaluation, or by the type of service offered by the establishments in which they visit. Some examples of the former are:
Face-to-face mystery shopper
The most common type of mystery shopper is the on-site mystery shopper, which is a visit to an establishment chosen for the purpose of reviewing the quality of service.
The visit of the incognito customer can last from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the type of indicators, purchase intention or the type of transfer evaluated.
The mystery shopper evaluates the performance of the staff based on the pre-designed criteria and the indicators established by the business.
These types of visits are more appropriate for companies in which a mystery shopper can visit the establishment posing as an ordinary customer without causing any suspicion from the staff.
The list of businesses for which this type of mystery shopper is a useful and effective tool to improve the quality of service is long. The most common areas are: retail, restaurants, gas stations, banks, hospitals, gyms, hotels, and convenience stores.
Mystery shopper online
With the development of e-commerce and online businesses, the online mystery shopper has reached the same level of importance as that done in face-to-face establishments.
With the help of online mystery shopping, online business owners can easily access the quality of service provided at all stages of user interaction with the store.
For example, mystery shoppers review how quickly the company reacts to requests, how competent employees are around the goods and services provided by the business, and how they interact with customers through social media or web pages.
At the same time, the shopper can also evaluate the convenience of using a web page to obtain information about the goods or services, the range of products and information of value for their purchase.
Some of the industries that use this type of mystery shopper are: travel agencies, insurance companies, automotive agencies, real estate and telecommunications.
Call mystery shopper
This is another of the most useful types of mystery shopper for companies that use call centers extensively, as well as industries that provide services exclusively by telephone or in areas where telephone conversations with clients are an integral and important part of the business. service, requiring high-quality evaluation and maintenance.
This type of evaluation is carried out by a mystery shopper who calls the company to evaluate the level of service, relying on telephone surveys, and to find out all the details of the performance.
During the call, the shopper can check how easy it is to call the company, how long it takes to answer a call, how is the greeting of the employees, their competence, their skills to speak with the client and if they are able to solve the problems. customer problems during the conversation.
This type of mystery shopper tends to be in greater demand in call centers, hotels, travel agencies, information technology companies, communications, consultancies, insurers and medical services.
Can you interesar: How to hire a mystery shopper
Types of mystery shopper by business line
According to the line of business, mystery shoppers can be classified as:
A mystery guest is a mystery shopper who experiences every aspect of a hotel’s value proposition through the eyes of a typical guest.
This shopper makes sure to evaluate the areas of the hotel that are of most interest to the owners or business partners.
For example, if the hotelier is concerned if the team in the dining room does not provide the same service at closing time as at opening time, the shopper arrives 30 minutes before closing to check.
These types of mystery shoppers behave like an ordinary guest and are provided only the necessary information about the hotel to ensure that they have the proper context as they approach the evaluation.
There are usually not too many assignments or very detailed requests to the evaluator to avoid being too obvious to the staff, which would cause the interactions to be more calculated.
The shopper must not have access to previous reports or have information that could generate prejudices for or against any aspect of the hotel.
You may be interested in learning more about market research for hotels.
The mystery diner is a type of mystery shopping in which the evaluator enjoys a meal in a restaurant.
This is a person posing as a diner and evaluating different aspects of the restaurant from the customer’s perspective to ensure that the requirements of a culinary experience are met.
Once her experience is over, this shopper makes a complete report of all the information he could gather about her experience in the restaurant, which is considered an excellent tool to improve customer service.
Whether the analysis is carried out by an external company or by the restaurant itself, these evaluations are objective and serve to refine those details that always escape the restaurant, as well as to detect more serious errors that could put the business at risk. .
The mystery patient is a person who seeks medical attention to make visits to hospitals, clinics and health centers in order to evaluate and provide detailed feedback on the experience of the service, highlighting specific areas of medical treatment that require improvements and changes.
Another of the most popular types of mystery shopper is the mystery market, a professional who works mainly in the supermarket sector, also known as “mass market”.
Its task is to audit all the processes that involve the end customer, employees or external companies that carry out work in the facilities, for example, aspects such as the cleanliness of the place, the organization, the supply and the expiration of the products.
Check out QuestionPro’s surveys for Mystery Shoppers!
Surveys for mystery shoppers are one of the key instruments used by these professionals to evaluate the quality of attention perceived by customers in an objective and effective way, some of the most used being: the evaluation of standards, the attention processes and the service providing in some points of sale.
With the information collected, complete reports can be created about the experience lived in the place where the evaluation was carried out.