Finding the right Mystery Shopping company for your business

What are the 4 key elements companies look for when searching for a mystery shopping agency to work with?

1. Experience

As with any market research, the team that you deal directly with at your chosen agency are responsible for the success of your mystery shopping programme. From designing your bespoke scoring criteria, to selecting and briefing the appropriate mystery shoppers, companies need to be confident that their project management team have extensive experience in this area. Essentially, what does their CV look like? Working with a project management team that has a wealth of experience designing and implementing large scale mystery shopping programmes, will contribute greatly to the success of any customer research programme they are involved with. They will have a better understanding of what will positively, or negatively, impact the success of a programme and share knowledge of what works well within other companies and industries.

2. Industry Knowledge

Some companies like to work with agencies that have experience designing and implementing mystery shopping programmes within their industry, so will often look for a market research agency who has experience working with like for like companies. This isn’t always required but is essential for any company looking to gather benchmarking analysis from their chosen research agency.

If the agency you are interested in partnering with doesn’t directly have experience working within your industry, your project management team might. So don’t always discount the agency without first finding out the experience of the people who are going to be managing your mystery shopping programme. They might have previously worked within your industry or have experience managing market research programmes within your industry from a previous job.

3. The Latest Online Reporting Technology

The majority of companies are looking for a research agency that uses the most modern, efficient, and advanced online reporting technology. The online reporting platform has to be intuitive and easy to use to drive engagement with the analysis and insight. Allowing for different reporting options such as hierarchical, geographical, location ranking and wave on wave comparison, provides analysis that makes it easy to identify areas of strength and areas of improvement. Providing an action plan functionality also allows companies to close the loop on the research, after it has been reviewed and debriefed with the relevant team members.

The most essential functionality is the ease of accessing this information. If your chosen research agency has a reporting app, you will be able to access your mystery shopping results anytime, anywhere, as the results are uploaded in real time. Alerts notifying you when your latest mystery shop results are available are essential to support with manging your time to review the data.

4. Ability to Facilitate

Lastly, but notably most important, can your chosen agency deliver your required mystery shopping programme. Does the agency have the required number of mystery shoppers who fit the customer profile of your brand? Do they have the ability to internally resource your programme and deliver high quality mystery shops within an agreed timeframe? These questions will be the most important to ask any market research agency prior to engaging in a mystery shopping programme.

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