Mystery Shopping

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Mystery shopping is an efficient way to check the quality of a service of your own company and to optimize your own service offering based on the results. The Swiss agency Freiraummanager offers professional mystery shopping with trained test buyers for companies in Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Germany an all over the world.

What is Mystery Shopping

Under the name Mystery Shopping, various assessment procedures of services are summarized. These may cover different forms of collection carried out in person, by telephone, in writing or in a combined procedure. As a matter of general, the service company itself acts as the client in order to verify services and the behaviour of employees towards the clientele. But also different service offers can be controlled by Mystery Shopper. By using a trained and experienced test buyer, weaknesses in the service can be detected and the services of the company can be optimized.

How do you benefit from professional mystery shopping with your company?

Regardless of whether you run a small or larger company, it is difficult to verify quality standards in the service industry without outsourcing. After all, the question always arises: Which boss or in-house employee should be able to act as a test buyer in his own company undercover without the test purchase being recognized and how to ensure that the test result is neutral? It is therefore common to use external mystery shoppers as part of quality control, who make a professional and neutral assessment.

As a company, you benefit from the use of our experienced test customers and the subsequent evaluation of the service test, for example as follows:

  • Better training of employees
  • Optimized shopping experience for your customers
  • Improving the quality of services
  • Reducing waiting times
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • More efficient customer acquisition and stronger customer loyalty
  • Improved company image
  • Increase in sales and profit increase
  • Reducing shoplifting

In the course of testing, many different procedures are possible – from the unneeded customer, who wants comprehensive advice, to the particularly demanding or even strenuous customer and, in addition, the control of the store defect in your home.

For which companies do we offer Mystery Shopping?

Quality controls through test purchases are suitable for all companies that offer services in any form. It does not matter whether it is a small business or a larger service company.

Mystery shopping services can be controlled in the following industries:

  • Retail
  • Gastronomy
  • Hotel
  • Health care
  • Telecommunications
  • Automotive industry
  • Credit industry
  • as well as other service industries

On behalf of our clients, our Mystery Shoppers become active as test customers, for example, in these companies to analyze services and services:

  • Hotels
  • Camping
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Fashion houses
  • Sports shops
  • Perfumeries
  • Hair salons
  • Surgeries
  • Car dealers
  • Garden centre
  • Zoo shops
  • Gas stations
  • Insurance
  • Office
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel agencies

Furthermore, Mystery Shopping is suitable for quality control of services at all interfaces between companies and customers.

Survey forms for Mystery Shopping

The form in which a test customer operates depends on the type of company and the service to be verified. Just as real customers make use of the service, our test customers also use the service.

Mystery shopping on site

The test buyer acts as a regular customer, visits the service company on site and makes use of a service to carry out a personal survey.

Mystery guests in gastronomy and hotel industry

In order to carry out the test, the test person acts as a hotel guest, camping guest or restaurant guest to get an impression of the service.

Mystery Call – Test by phone

The test customer makes use of the telephone service and makes a telephone survey to check the company’s service standards.

Written service test

The tester contacts the service provider by e-mail or letter mail and checks the quality of the service.

After consultation with the client, several forms of survey can of course be combined to obtain a comprehensive picture of the services provided.

What distinguishes the test person of our agency?

We work exclusively with people who behave confidently and inconspicuously in every test situation. Finally, the sales situation, the consultation or the stay as a guest in a service company should be completely inconspicuous. Your employees should not know that the customer is a test person. In order for this to succeed, the tester is required to have acting talent and professionalism.

In order to achieve an absolutely authentic test result, it is essential that the experienced customer is trained and already has extensive experience in mystery shopping. So that we can offer qualitative test purchases, we train our mystery shoppers ourselves. In this way, we ensure that our employees can assess all aspects of quality adequately and neutrally.

What is the procedure of a service test by Mystery Shopping?

If you, as an entrepreneur or company, want to check the service standards in your company, check for weaknesses and optimize them, please contact us. In a personal conversation with you, we evaluate together which test procedures and procedures are suitable for controlling your services and your service employees. In addition, we also discuss the dimensions in which service and quality control should take place. The test procedure consists of four steps: objective, strategic planning, test procedures and evaluation of the test.

Mystery Shopping: Defining Individual Goals

Before we commission our test buyer, the objective of the test purchase must first be defined and the project process planned. In doing so, we determine the requirements to be placed on the test purchase as well as on the test buyer.

In order for the test customer to know what to look for when purchasing or testing your services, an observation catalogue is created in advance, which serves as the basis of the test customer’s observations.

The catalogue contains specific details that can be observed in the evaluation process. Predetermined observations always depend on the industry, the type of company, the services offered and the defined objective.

Here are some examples that can be evaluated as part of Mystery Shopping:

  • Friendliness of the staff
  • Attention of the employees
  • Staff’s willingness to help
  • Dealing with complaints
  • Responsiveness
  • Negotiating skills of service providers
  • Appearance of employees
  • Cleanliness in the sales room
  • State of sanitation
  • Placement of products
  • Efficiency of advertising materials
  • Vigilance of the shop detective
  • Transparency in consulting
  • Operations on cashing

After the test, the test buyer evaluates his overall impressions and draws up an evaluation sheet in which the observations are recorded in accordance with the agreed objective. The results and evaluations recorded in the observation sheet serve as a basis for the evaluation of mystery shopping and make it possible to define measures for optimization.

Examples of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping can be used in all service areas to gain an overview of a company’s quality standards. The Mystery Shopper or Mystery customer behaves completely inconspicuously, so that the service providers can not guess that they are currently undergoing a service check.

Mystery Shopping in Retail

One of the typical test methods is retail purchases. For example, the test buyer enters a grocery store. During the test purchase, the test customer checks the cleanliness in the shop. He moves through the entire sales room to get an impression of the presentation of fresh goods in the fruit and vegetable department. To control the friendliness of the employees, the test customer addresses your staff and asks where they find certain goods. In addition, he consults products at the fresh food counter (sausage, meat, cheese, fish, bakery), observes the service of other customers and analyzes his own shopping experience.

In addition, the test buyer closely monitors the placement of advertisements, campaign signs as well as the sorting of the products and the processes during cashing. The friendliness, competence and helpfulness of sellers and cashiers are also being put to the test.

In addition to mystery shopping, we can also arrange fake shoplifting to check if the store detective or sales staff is alert and uncover thefts. But fake shop or department store theft is not just used to control vigilance. It also reveals possible, previously undiscovered vulnerabilities used by shoplifters to use your goods.

Mystery Shopping Fashion Shops and Shoe Shops

Test purchases in fashion stores and boutiques focus on friendliness, helpfulness and advice. Customers want to take a look around the shop first, but are also happy to take on the competent advice of the specialist saleswoman when it comes to finding suitable clothing.

In addition to consulting, the customer is entitled to expect the courteous help of the sales staff in addition to the advice. If the garment is required in a different dress size, the saleswoman should pre-empt the customer and bring the required size from the sales room to the changing room, so that the customers feel optimally advised on the one hand and also in good hands during the fitting. Satisfied customers are returning customers!

The situation is similar in the shoe business. Although most customers want to take a look around in peace and quiet. However, when fitting different shoe models, an attentive saleswoman is a valuable support when shoes of a different size or with a better fit are needed.

The test buyer you have commissioned through our agency gets an impression of the quality of service in your business. The focus of the test purchase is not only on consulting when it comes to selecting the right product, but also in corporateing the processes of cashing in. If the service is correct, from advice to fitting sit-down to checkout at the checkout, further product sales of goods such as impregnation spray or high-quality shoe care can be recorded in the checkout area of the shoe business, for example. Satisfied customers are generally more willing to spend more money in a store.

Mystery Guests in Gastronomy and Hotel

Guests who enjoy a nice evening in the restaurant or check into a hotel want to enjoy impeccable service. From reception to farewell, there are numerous interfaces between staff and customers in the catering and hotel industry, which determine customer satisfaction. This also includes the impressions that the premises and the equipment of your company convey to your customers.

Our test customer checks all details according to a predetermined pattern in order to assess your company and your employees. All hotel testers and restaurant testers are trained to look closely and to uncover large and small weaknesses in the hotel and catering industry.

In both sectors, for example, the following spatial conditions and services can be assessed:

  • Is the entrance area customer-friendly, barrier-free and securely designed?
  • Does the establishment of the restaurant or restaurant make a welcoming, friendly and cosy impression?
  • Do you really feel welcome in your business?
  • Does the appearance of your staff match the ambience of your business?
  • Is the welcome of the clientele friendly?
  • Is the check-in at the hotel reception discreet and customer-oriented?
  • Is the hotel room freshly ventilated?
  • Is the hotel room in a neat and clean condition?
  • Does housekeeping do its job reliably?
  • Do the toilet and bathroom in the hotel meet valid hygiene standards?
  • Does the menu make a good impression?
  • Are beverage glasses, plates and cutlery clean?
  • Are tablecloths and napkins clean?
  • Are customers served quickly and accommodatingly?
  • How do the service staff deal with extra requests from the guests?
  • Is the service staff characterized by exemplary attention?
  • Does the service in the guest room pay attention to rapid beverage replenishment?
  • Does the staff ask if the customers are satisfied?

After visiting the restaurant or staying at the hotel, the test guest prepares his comprehensive report, which shows you where your business guarantees perfect service, where optimization potential has not been sufficiently exploited and in which areas improvement is necessary.

Testing the quality of your consulting services

In many industries, customers first seek advice before concluding a contract. This applies, for example, to travel agencies, telecommunications providers and insurance companies, as well as in the financial sector or in the car dealership.

In order to control the quality standards, to identify weaknesses and to identify the potential for improvement, our test customer personally, by telephone or in writing, in order to get individual advice (e.g. mobile phone contract, landline connection, car purchase), depending on the industry and agreement. Of course, you can specify whether this should be a general consultation or product-specific advice.

You also specify the extent to which the test customer should use your consulting service. Would you like a one-off test or would you like to commission a test series in order to get the most comprehensive picture of the quality standards of your company? You set the framework – we take care of the appropriate and results-oriented test procedure.

What’s next after Mystery Shopping?

As soon as the test customer returns to the desk from their use in your company, the test report is created. This documents in detail the shopping experience and the impressions that your house and your employees have left with our agency employee. Both positive and negative aspects are recorded in the report.

In the further procedure, the results of the reporting are evaluated and measures for optimizing services and services are decided upon. Here we are happy to assist you as an experienced consultant.

After service control, test evaluation and optimization measures have been performed, a new test is suitable for re-checking. In a second test procedure, it is possible to check whether your staff adequately implements the quality development measures and that this leads to the desired target result.

Start the quality analysis of your services now with Mystery Shopping

Has your company had to lose sales in recent times? Are your sales figures stagnating? Do you want to take your company’s success course to the next level? Would you like to make your customers even more satisfied in the future?

Contact us now – we will advise you free of charge and without obligation on how you can control and optimize your quality standards with Mystery Shopping.