Mystery shopping research, also known as secret shopping, is a market research technique used to evaluate the quality of customer service and assess the performance of employees, products, or services in a business or retail setting. This type of research involves sending trained and anonymous shoppers to interact with employees, make purchases, or receive services, and report on their experiences, providing valuable insights into the customer experience.
Businesses often use mystery shopping research to improve customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement in their operations. This type of research can be conducted in various industries, including retail, hospitality, healthcare, finance, and telecommunications.
The process of mystery shopping research involves several steps, including selecting and training mystery shoppers, defining research objectives, developing scenarios or tasks for the shoppers to complete, conducting the shopping visits, collecting data, and analyzing the results. The data collected during the mystery shopping visits can include quantitative measures, such as the time it takes for an employee to greet a customer or the number of products available on the shelf, as well as qualitative measures, such as the friendliness of the employee or the cleanliness of the store.
The results of mystery shopping research can provide businesses with valuable insights into the customer experience and highlight areas where they may need to make improvements. For example, if the mystery shopping visits reveal that employees are not greeting customers promptly or are not knowledgeable about the products they are selling, the business can take steps to improve employee training and customer service.
In addition to improving customer satisfaction, mystery shopping research can also help businesses identify potential employee fraud or misconduct. For example, if a mystery shopping visit reveals an employee stealing merchandise or engaging in unethical behaviour, the business can take appropriate disciplinary action.