What comes to mind when discussing a mystery or secret shopping? Is a person visiting your business location to assess everything? It’s not your fault if this is the only picture that comes to mind when this word pops up.
What is mystery shopping? Mystery or secret shopping is when an individual interacts with your company, pretending to be a potential customer but assessing that interaction and other aspects of the business.
But did you know that different methods of secret shopping are developed in the market? A physical visit is one of these methods. Today, with this article, we intend to familiarize you with all these different methods so that you can choose the right one for your business.
Different Methods of Mystery Shopping
Since many things differ from industry to industry, it is only logical to design different secret shopping programs catering to the needs of these industries. Here are the popular methods of such shopping programs:
- Hybrid (multiple touchpoints)
So, let us look at them one by one.
- In-person secret shopping
This is the most common and most used method. It is the kind where a mystery shopper visits the location physically and keeps a note of every aspect of the location to report all the things in detail by answering the mystery shopping questionnaire. The shopper pretends to be a prospective customer without causing any suspicion among the staff.
The visit can take minutes or hours, depending on the measured vital metrics.
This method is best used in health care, banking, fitness, restaurant, retail, hotel, and similar industries.
- Telephone secret shopping
A business like a hotel must provide a similar experience to its customers over the phone. Then using mystery shopping must learn if your customers are dissatisfied or overlooked on the phone.
The mystery shopper interacts with the staff over the phone, again pretending to be a customer. He may call to purchase over the phone or ask for additional information.
This method is best used in hotels, call centers, travel, and tourism industries.
- Virtual secret shopping
A business’s website or online services are as important as in-store services. Internet mystery shopping assesses the online experience from a customer’s point of view.
As we told you while answering what is mystery shopping, the mystery shopper assesses any aspect of your business. You may ask them about the website’s appeal, whether it is easy for customers to navigate things, whether the online customer support satisfies them, or if there was any new tool launched that the company wants feedback on.
This method is usually used in e-commerce, telecommunications, and automotive industries.
- Hybrid (multiple touch point) secret shopping
Depending on the nature and size of the business, many companies benefit from such a method because it combines all the other methods to provide overall feedback to the company.
This method is mainly used by big companies in hotels, healthcare, real estate, travel, banking, automotive and similar industries.
Thus, before you choose a mystery shopping program for your company, decide which method would cater to all your needs!