“More effective research means better decisions”

What is Mystery Shopping?

The term Mystery Shopping is not often heard amongst business or marketing people in Cambodia. By the definition given by Market Research Society (MRS), it is the use of individuals who are trained to be mystery shoppers. They go to experience and measure customer service, by acting as potential customers and reporting back on their experiences in a detailed and objective way. Mystery Shopping is different from a Customer Satisfaction Survey in that it explores the actual customer experience at a snapshot in time (rather than asking customers for their views retrospectively), and records specific details of that particular experience.

 

Mystery Shopping is often outsourced to professional market research agencies that conduct it on behalf of management and the customer service manager.  Depending on the budget and strategy, it can be conducted on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly basis. The market research agency is responsible for developing materials for the project in conjunction with the customer service manager for key areas to be measured and monitored, before training its mystery shopper personnel – those who are assigned to experience and measure customer service delivery.

 

Mystery Shopping is a very powerful and useful tool for management and the customer service manager to measure and monitor service delivery to customers against the standard customer service procedure. In addition, it is even more useful in the competitive business environment, where a business has a competitive advantage due to its better service. The company that uses Mystery Shopping can see what areas throughout the process of service delivery need to be improved. Also, they can focus where they are not performing as well as expected, in order to gain a higher satisfaction rate and to increase loyalty amongst customers.

 

Mystery Shopping is often used to:

  • Assess staff performance in delivering services to customers.
  • Determine any key areas that need to be improved in day-to-day operation.
  • Benchmark against key competitors.
  • Collect qualitative feedback on customer experience.

 

In short, Mystery Shopping is a research methodology that is being used by businesses to measure and monitor their service delivery against customer service procedure. It is recommended to be used especially in the current competitive business environment where customers have a lot of choices.

 

By Mr. Phoung Vuthy, Managing Partner of Leverage Research Solutions (LRS)