Mystery Shopping Services

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Mystery Shopping Services


Mystery shopper

High-level service in companies is something that needs to be given maximum attention, resources and efforts. You have selected a team, but how to check the work of employees of retail outlets, call center or support? How is the practical work going, do the employees follow the scripts, at what level is the service and maintenance?

In the conditions of the modern market, the quality of service and the service that the company provides can become the decisive factor for the client. For verification, the “Mystery Shopper” technology is often used, which is most effective in monitoring the quality of service. Who is a mystery shopper and what are the advantages of this particular method of controlling work – we will think about this today.

Who is a mystery shopper?

What determines the success of a sales manager? The level of practical knowledge, the ability to find a positive way out of conflict situations, following instructions, adhering to brand standards – each of the points is important for productive work. Need to test the knowledge of managers in practice? There is a secret shopper technology for this.

A mystery shopper is a person whose task is to check the competence of employees when making a secret control visit or call. Evaluates managers of a retail outlet, website, call center based on skills, level of service and quality of service, customer focus, stress resistance.

Mystery shopper – evaluate the results

The evaluation process takes place anonymously, under the guise of a client who plans a purchase, returns a product or needs advice. The companies providing the “mystery shopper” technology select the person, as well as the details of the check, in accordance with the wishes of the customer.

For example, for a store for children’s goods or mobile devices – a person who is well versed in them, has children, or is a representative of the brand’s target audience. For a beauty salon or restaurant, a mystery shopper is selected who has experience in this field or relevant education.

Companies take into account the specialization, experience of a mystery shopper in a particular area so that the check is as objective as possible, and the person can identify shortcomings in the work. Suppose a person with experience in a call center does not know all the nuances of the work of a bartender or a pharmacist, and vice versa. To do this, “spies” are also provided with data about the object of verification, questions, a list of nuances that are worth paying attention to.

The technology will be relevant for enterprises where new personnel are undergoing training and internships. The mystery shopper fills out a detailed form that sets out the criteria, service standards, details of the appearance, state of the outlet, and also provides an audio recording or video of the conversation. After checking, it is possible to accurately assess whether the employee is ready for work.

Responsibilities and Skills of a Mystery Shopper

What are the responsibilities of a mystery shopper? The work of a mystery shopper is very similar to the work of a spy, because you need to stand out from the crowd and at the same time collect information. The verification process is clearly regulated, and the main responsibility is to visit the enterprise, call the representatives of the site or call center as a client and evaluate in accordance with the specified criteria. When preparing for the visit, instructions are provided, an action plan at the point, the details depend on the wishes of the customer.

How does a mystery shopper work? It is important to carry out verification without revealing your identity. During a visit or a call, you need to place an order for goods, make a purchase, ask for a consultation or find out more about the services. At the same time, various factors are evaluated, which can change according to the requirements of the customer, as well as the type of verification:

  • Compliance with company standards by employees.
  • Quality of care and service.
  • Actions during conflict situations.
  • The appearance of employees, the state of the trading floor.
  • Following scripts and approved greeting forms.
  • The order of layout of products at the point of sale.
  • Time to hello, speed of service.
  • The presence of mandatory phrases or actions.
  • Completeness of advice and technical support.
  • Availability of printed promotional products.
  • Informing about the loyalty system, bonuses.

All information must be remembered in order to later display the data in the form, as well as provide an audio recording of the conversation to the customer. To make sure that the secret visitor really visited the site, customers are asked to walk within the radius of view of the cameras or take a photo of the retail space on a mobile phone.

The instructions also contain instructions on how a mystery shopper should behave, a list of basic questions intended for employees of the outlet. Often companies test employees for stress resistance, indicating a conflict behavior model for the buyer. Thanks to tricky questions or difficult situations, you can see shortcomings in the work at the point of sale, as well as how managers treat dissatisfied customers.

What skills should a mystery shopper have? A good memory is one of the main skills, because you need to remember instructions, questions in order not to give yourself away by looking at a cheat sheet. Also, sometimes you have to show acting talent to create provocative moments and covertly conduct audio recordings.

To work on the verification process, it is also important:

  • Sociability.
  • Attention to details.
  • Flexibility, creativity.
  • Competent live speech.
  • Ownership of sales information.
  • Punctuality, strict adherence to instructions.

For a successful inspection, it is important for a mystery shopper to skillfully go beyond the boundaries of the standard list of questions, to approach them creatively. You need to maneuver through the known stages of sales, and not strictly follow the order, as an experienced manager will figure you out and the result will not be accurate.

Why do you need a mystery shopper?

The “Mystery Shopper” verification method is one of the most effective methods for monitoring and improving the level of service in companies. Periodic review is important for setting the future goals of a company or an individual point, improving the quality of service.

The purpose of the check can also be:

  • Studying the popularity of goods / services.
  • Quality of service.
  • Detection of incompetent personnel.
  • Checking the level of knowledge, following the script or standards.
  • The appearance of employees, the condition of the outlet.
  • Checking the work and speed of response of the call center.
  • Presentation to buyers of shares.
  • Matching brand style.
  • Actions of employees in complex conflict situations.

After the visit, a detailed report, an evaluation sheet is formed, an audio recording is provided. Based on the data received from the mystery shopper, the company will be able to introduce innovations, positive changes, and also correct errors.

Mystery shopping algorithm

You have decided to check one of the outlets or the work of the call center and turned to the mystery shopper technology. The instructions have been drawn up, the verification of the enterprise begins. What does a mystery shopper do?

  • Receives detailed instructions and requirements information from the customer.
  • Studying standards, scenarios for the work of a mystery shopper.
  • Visits a location or makes a phone call to verify.
  • Asks questions, creates a situation according to the instructions.
  • Records audio or video of the conversation.
  • Fills out the reporting form, attaches audio or video.
  • Provides the customer with a full report on the visit.

A mystery shopper should behave as naturally as possible and not be biased towards the customer’s company. Even if the staff found out about the visit, the mystery shopper must merge with the rest of the customers so as not to give himself away.

How to find a mystery shopper?

An experienced mystery shopper among many others is very difficult to calculate because the ideal formula does not exist. When conducting a check, naturalness is important, if the client often looks around, asks a lot of standard questions, tries in every possible way to enter the path of conflict – perhaps he is the mystery shopper.

But it is very difficult to determine exactly, because on the way there are scrupulous customers who responsibly approach each purchase or service. The best approach is to serve each client with quality, to provide a high level of service, to comply with the standards of the company in which you work. With this approach, the score will be consistently high.

How is the mystery shopper technology used in the Outsourcing Team?

To determine the effectiveness of the work carried out, as well as to determine the quality of service for attracted leads, a secret purchase is carried out monthly, where the responsible manager goes through the path of the buyer. It can also determine whether all the stages are implemented with high quality and whether something can be improved to increase customer sales.

The results of the work carried out and conclusions are added to the monthly reports. But, if there are comments on any of the stages and it is possible to improve it, then we immediately inform the customer. In this way, factors that can directly influence the result can be excluded.


Who is the mystery shopper? We can safely say that this is one of the best methods that contributes to business development and is an important element of the personnel training and testing system. Thanks to this tool, you can qualitatively work out the following nuances of the company’s activities:

The current situation in the company, areas for development.
Expansion of the target audience, designation of the framework in the activity.
Strategy for working with a client at a point of sale and call center.
Weaknesses in the work of sales departments, support services and specific managers in key positions.

Thanks to the mystery shopping method, you will be able to correctly build a strategy that will bring more profit to your brand and satisfy the needs of even the most demanding customers. And also you can easily correct communication errors with customers and increase the competence of staff.



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