The Value of Mystery Shops
Sales and marketing managers can find an inherent benefit in performing planned sets of mystery shops on their own sales teams, as well as on their competition. Each type brings with it knowledge that can give your company a distinct market advantage.
Having your own sales teams shopped and reviewed periodically by an anonymous party will enable you to find any shortcomings in their approach to sales, as well as confirm whether they are remaining on the appropriate sales track as designated by the company. Mystery shoppers can be given special instructions to focus on particular aspects of the sales process, or even throw a few curveballs at the sales people to see how they react to different situations. It is even possible to assign a mystery shopper who fits a specific buyer profile who may require a sales approach outside the generic.
Competitor mystery shops may have a more easily discernable benefit, as they can provide you with valuable information on competitor pricing, product availability, specifications, promotions, and mark-up. This can help your company determine and set appropriate pricing and product standards. It can also act as a measuring stick to see how well you align with your competition in a specific market.
Mystery shopping should be performed periodically, with consistency, as you cannot treat a single report as an “end-all” missive. Rather, you must track patterns in behaviour over time to determine the complete story. In summary, mystery shop your team, mystery shop your competition, and do it often.
By: Shane Want
RESEARCH DIRECTOR, PARTNER