This checklist provides a linear line of questioning designed to evaluate the shopping experience and improve your business operations. Here, you'll learn about the who, what, and whys of everything mystery shopping entails. Get the information from the mystery shopper questionnaire discreetly via your mobile device with Lumiform's free online template.
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The so-called mystery shopping or secret shopping is an effective method to evaluate the performance of employees comprehensively. It is used to check compliance with prescribed behavior and work processes in the workplace and to analyze the quality of products and services. In this way, corrective measures that are necessary for the company can be initiated to improve the customer experience in the long term.
As a rule, mystery shoppers are hired to assess their own business from the perspective of the customers and to evaluate the range of services offered accordingly. In the following, you will find four facts about Mystery Shopping for companies:
What is a mystery shopper? A mystery shopper should be trained in mystery shopper guidelines as well as know the exact ideas and specifications of the specific company being tested. In the following, you will find three tips that will help to optimally prepare mystery shopper activities and responsibilities:
Companies can test their products and services with the help of mystery shoppers or conduct their own market research. Checklists can be used to give mystery shoppers an easy way to assess the product or service.
The checklists can contain questions of all types. Depending on the industry, typical test elements for mystery shopper checklists include:
Checklists for mystery shopping are used in various industries that have one thing in common: Contact with the customer. These include, for example, pharmacies, car dealerships, banks, call centers, retail and specialty stores, fitness studios, restaurants, and hotels.
Companies hope that evaluations based on a mystery shopper checklist will improve customer service and customer satisfaction in particular, as well as enabling them to better comply with specifications and regulations.
Firstly, be aware that the questions should depend on the branch and the product. Generally, you should always ask about the overall experience. You should also ask if the mystery shopper has any improvements or suggestions. In the following, we summarized some of the topics you should cover depending on what you want to evaluate:
Why does one product get bought over another that’s competing in the same market?
This may be a fairly straightforward question to the average person, but it can downright stump the savviest of businessmen and inventors alike. When all you do every day, day in and day out, is look at, test, and redesign a toothbrush, you might lose sight of the shore and what consumers are really looking for when they go to the store.
How can they outcompete their competitors? What does a shopper look for when they decide to buy one electric razor over another?
That’s what many businessmen and women are asking themselves.
It’s not enough for the product to be the cheapest or of the highest quality. The purpose of employing a shopper to, well, shop, is for the business to acquire priceless feedback about how their brand relates to the masses. It will also give their product an even greater competitive edge in a market that’s already saturated with countless brands of toilet brushes, granola bars, and desktops.
A mystery shopper in the product industry’s main role will be to evaluate the quality of the designated item. They will rate the user experience and make suggestions for improvement.
Below, are some questions you might encounter on a secret shopper evaluation form in the product industry:
A gastronomic facility covers any business that falls under food service. That can be anything from five-star restaurants to the deli across the street.
It’s not uncommon for business owners in the foodservice industry to own more than one restaurant. That means they have to divide their time between two, three, four, or more restaurants. Keeping track of that many moving parts and ensuring quality standards are being met and upheld by the staff in every restaurant isn’t always feasible, especially when your employees are on their best behavior when they see you come through the door.
Let’s be honest, workers slack off. They get complacent, even lazy in their roles. It’s not every single employee, of course, but everyone knows that one person who is happy enough to sit back, relax, and collect their paycheck. Maybe that’s good for them, but it’s bad for business, and that’s why restaurant owners are getting creative.
The benefit of paying someone to eat at a restaurant is the staff doesn’t know who it will be or when they will come. This gives business owners an honest representation of staff friendliness, waiter response time, and how good the cook actually is in the kitchen.
As a company employing someone to come in and grade the quality of the food and the friendly service of the staff, these are some topics that are important to have evaluated in gastronomic establishments:
Here are some examples of the questions you might be asked when you do a mystery shopper guest check:
For a more extensive list of questions, check out Lumiform’s Restaurant Mystery Shopper Checklist Template for free.
The main purpose of this checklist is to ensure all shopper’s—not just the ones being employed to shop at the store—have the experience of a lifetime. Okay, it doesn’t have to be the best experience they’ve ever had, but it should be good enough to keep them coming back time and time again.
In today’s world, a shopper can just as easily log on to their computer and have their weekly shopping to-do list done in a matter of minutes, virtually, from the safety and comfort of their home. Why would they waste the gas money to go all the way to the store?
The answer is people still go to buy their goods from a brick and mortar store for the experience.
With home office gaining popularity since the covid pandemic, people want an excuse to leave their homes and get some fresh air as well as some much-needed social interaction.
During the visit, the secret shopper will peruse the shelves and go about their shopping much the same way as they normally would. The only difference is now they are paying special attention to the quality of their experience at the store.
The following are topics important in retail, so it’ll be helpful to supply a shopper with questions pertaining to these categories:
Below, are examples of questions that fit under each category mentioned above:
At the end of the shopping trip, the buyer will complete a mystery shopper analysis report. The company will then use this report to evaluate their performance and carry out any changes based on the scores assigned to each section.
Employing someone to give feedback about a product or service can be more beneficial than asking customers to fill out a questionnaire about their experience for one of two reasons. The first is people usually only fill out a questionnaire if something was defective about the product they bought or if they had a bad experience. It’s helpful to get both positive and negative feedback in order to get a comprehensive idea about the quality of service or product being provided. The second is you can catch minor issues in service and quality before they turn into major problems that could potentially impact sales.
The following outlines topics that should be included in a mystery shopper training manual:
Below is a list of sample questions that might appear on a service industry form:
These questions can vary depending on the type of service being offered. If a business wants to do well in the service sector, it must have quick, friendly service that values the customer’s time and money. If problems arise, they must be handled appropriately and professionally.
There are so many hotels out there—sometimes even across the street from each other—it can be hard to understand why you’re losing out to your competitors.
Whether it’s for a business expenditure or a vacation when people visit a hotel they expect a certain level of service and quality of accommodations. Otherwise, they would just go to a motel.
This checklist is designed to help iron out some of those details and provide a comprehensive analysis to ensure travelers choose your hotel time and time again.
In this section, you’ll find questions and example answers pertaining to each category described below:
Here are some examples of questions that will be asked during a mystery shopper hotel visit:
Here are some examples of a mystery shopper test answers:
From the given example answers, the final analysis would conclude that the hotel can make some improvements in cleanliness and customer service. The main complaint is the inconsistency between the nightly rate and the quality of the service being received.
Digitizing paper also offers great advantages for a mystery check questionnaire, including:
Do you want to make money shopping? Then you came to the right place to get started. This section will give a brief overview of the job description, eligibility requirements, and most importantly, how much you'll be able to make.
It’s a great side hustle, but can it become more than that? In short, the answer is no. These gigs only pay about $10 per shopping extravaganza. And that’s not to say per hour, either. Mystery shopping can be a quick in and out, or it can take up to several hours.
Now, if you get paid to go out to a restaurant, eat some good food and drink in exchange for some feedback, that’s all in all, not a bad deal. You also usually get to keep any purchases you make while you're out on the town.
If you’re a college student, work a job with irregular hours, or simply have a lot of extra time on your hand and you genuinely enjoy shopping, this will be right up your alley. You can apply to become a secret shopper on online job boards. Be aware that many secret shopping companies have local restrictions. People outside these zip codes need not apply.
There’s a lot of scams out there claiming to want to hire secret shoppers when, in reality, they just want your credit card information. If a company asks you for any personal information upfront, like a social security number, it’s likely a scam. So be careful.
Otherwise, to do this job successfully, you’ll need to have means of reliable transportation as many of these gigs have strict deadlines. You’ll also need to have the financial stability to cover any upfront costs until the company can reimburse you. But if you can manage that, you usually get to keep any items you buy while undercover.
It’s important to keep in mind that very few people get to do mystery shopping as a full-time occupation. It’s most commonly offered on a freelance basis and is restricted to within the zip code on your driver’s license, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
The more gigs you line up, the more credibility you’ll incur and the more desirable the secret shopper you’ll become.
Lumiform is a great way for companies or mystery shopper agencies to conduct shopping surveys more conveniently. With the mobile app and desktop software, gone are the days of conducting assessments with pen and paper.
Mystery shoppers can use their smartphone or tablet to call up their checklist while still on site and record the most important impressions without being noticed. In this way, important details for the evaluation of the mystery shopping experience are no longer lost.
A summary report with all answers is automatically generated at the end of each survey. In addition, the analysis functions can be used to perform initial evaluations without having to first transfer the collected data from the checklist to another tool.
Digitized checklists from Lumiform offer mystery shoppers and their clients the following advantages: