Mystery shopping and its importance for stores
Mystery shopping, also known as secret shopping, is method by which a store or a company evaluates its employees' performance. In this a person in disguise pretends to be a shopper, visits store, interacts with employees and assesses their ability to build a rapport with customer in order to sell their products. That person is actually hired by store owner or company proprietor to, assess performance of employees and in end submit report to proprietor. The person hired is called mystery shopper.
Apart from evaluation of performances, mystery shoppers analyze other commercial aspects of retail stores. These aspects could be price, availability, and quality of product; customer service via websites, telephones and in person; and house keeping. The freelance professionals called secret shoppers then hand over their assessment to company head who actually hired them.
There are no essential requirements to be a secret shopper, as shoppers don't have specific appearance or qualification. Those who have a flair and passion to enhance customer service and quality of product can plunge into secret shopping. It would be interesting to learn that secret shoppers are paid for their job. It is a profession just like any other profession.
Although job entails shopping which is fun, mystery shopping is a serious business and should be carefully dealt with. There must be certain innate traits within a person that would be helpful in being a secret shopper. These traits are ability to act or pretend, being trustworthy, reliable and professional. Apart from all these, secret shoppers should have a better mode of transportation, good writing skills and a clear perspective of actual reporting and their personal opinion so that truth is not tampered.
The stores make use of mystery shopping to uplift their sales by improving customer satisfaction. Secret shoppers are hired wholely and solely to increase sales by improving performance of employees. Mystery shopping is useful not just for evaluating staff's performance but also for checking customer service offered by rival business. It can be compared with one's own customer service to find problem areas. The problems can then be rectified to increase number of customers and hence sales.