Top 10 Reasons To Hire A Mystery Shopper
- November 20, 2006
- by PInow Staff
According to 2005 statistics published by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA), secret shopping services are a $600 million industry in the United States, with more than 8.1 million mystery shops conducted in 2004 alone. Businesses turn in such numbers to secret shopper services because these services offer a number of benefits for companies. Many companies report that these services help them to:
1. Improve the quality of service.
Every business wants to be known for a high level of service, and many companies even spend considerable time and money training employees to provide excellent customer care and support. This does not guarantee that all employees provide the level of helpfulness and assistance that they were hired to provide, though. A secret shopping service can uncover exactly what sort of service customers get even when there is no supervision of employees.
2. Increase sales.
Whether a business is service- or product-based, most companies are interested in selling something to someone. Businesses spend considerable effort and money on marketing, but if there is a flaw somewhere in the selling process, customers may be choosing to make purchases elsewhere. Performance audits help businesses to uncover these problems in the selling process so that marketing and sales processes work seamlessly to create more sales and profits.
3. Locate potential business hazards.
Employee fraud, theft, and dishonesty can all mean lost business and even potential lawsuits. Mystery shopper services uncover these potential problems so that business owners can act on them before they bankrupt a company.
4. Improve company image and branding.
Secret shoppers not only come into the store to see how company employees provide service in person; quality companies can also phone or email a business at various times of the day to determine how good telephone and computer service is. If customers are kept waiting on the telephone or emails are ignored, a company's reputation may suffer. Performance audits reveal these problems so that business owners can take appropriate action.
5. Help with decision making.
Employers need to have all the facts before they make hiring, promotion, and business plan decisions. By revealing what works and what does not from a customers perspective, mystery shopper services help business owners make these decisions with all the facts in place.
6. Answer employer questions.
All employers wonder what really happens when they are not around. Virtual customers are the employers' eyes and ears and can reveal problems that the business owner may be the last to know.
7. Gather evidence of trouble.
In some cases, employee dishonesty can require action. Even when employees are not performing, though, some employers fear taking action because they fear wrongful dismissal lawsuits. In other cases, employers suspect that crime is taking place but have no evidence. Secret shopper services can help employers get the evidence they need to act.
8. Stop criminal activity.
Selling controlled substances to minors, stealing, or selling illegal services and products: These are all fears of most employers. If employees are doing something illegal at work, employers, as well as the company, may be held liable. Mystery shopping helps employers detect and stop this sort of activity before it threatens a business.
9. Manage a business.
Most business owners are busy, and keeping track of everything is difficult. Secret shopping services offer owners an additional set of useful, impartial information that can be used in management decisions and changes.
10. Get customer insight.
Most business owners would love to be able to have direct, unbiased, full information from each customer what is working, what needs work in a company, what would make shoppers buy? Secret shopper services offer business owners the chance to ask these sorts of questions and get answers.
Choosing the Right Mystery Shopping Company is Key
Of course, not all secret shoppers offer all the services listed, and many services vary widely in quality and in delivery. Businesses need to be careful to select a good service that offers experience, customer support, and full licensing and insurance for the local area. Some shopping services allow businesses to design their own questionnaires and set the parameters of their own research. It is often useful to pay extra to be able to ask specific questions.
The PInow.com Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators can help businesses find the right secret shopper services. If a business needs corporate and business investigations as well as performance audits, the PInow.com Worldwide Directory of Private Investigators is an excellent way to find local, qualified investigators who can help.
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