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Mystery shopping is an highly valuable tool used by thousands of the best B2C & B2B businesses across the UK. And all those businesses have one thing in common. They understand that by investing in understanding and delivering an exceptional customer experience, they will be closer to achieving their business goals.

Mystery shops are best conducted by expert, third-party UK Mystery Shopping companies. The best mystery shopper companies work with their client business to understand what they are looking to learn, about their customer experience and sales process, and will provide an end to end service to help you achieve that research goal. From development of a mystery shop scenario, through finding a suitable mystery shopper and guiding them through the mystery shop process, to analysis of the data, and reporting of the final results.

However, with a variety of mystery shopping companies in the UK, how do you choose the best mystery shopping company for your business research needs?

Below we highlight 5 key criteria to look out for when choosing your mystery shop company.

1. Quality of service

It sounds obvious of course, but in the case of choosing the best mystery shopper companies, quality of service is more important than anything. Not all providers will offer the same level of quality as the other.

Consider that your chosen mystery shopping company will be sending shoppers to engage with your members of staff to test the service they deliver, and your sales process. It is vitally important they are finding the right shopper, and delivering the right scenario, to minimise the amount of time your staff spend dealing with mystery shop enquiries, but maximising the efficiency of delivering you the insight you require.

Scrutinise your prospective providers for their quality assurance processes:

  • How do they design sector specific, appropriate scenarios, to test your particular sales process?
  • How they choose the right shopper to best fit the brief?
  • And how do they ensure validity of results?

Be sure to ask all of these questions, and if you'd like to benchmark responses, I can help you with that.

2. Experience matters

The best mystery shopping company fit will vary from business to business, as some of this will be down to sector experience.

When looking at choosing your preferred supplier check if they have experience in delivering mystery shopping at a similar scale required for your business in the same sector that you operate.

The best mystery shopping company for your business will be able to take the lead with realistic scenarios for your sector, and the right shopper database that meets your geographic and demographic requirements. This will minimise the time your business needs to invest in managing the programme.

Beyond sector experience, look for more broad mystery shopping experience. Are they a member of the MSPA (Mystery Shopping Professional Association)? If not, it is probably worth asking why and checking if they have any other credentials with industry suppliers or case studies to support their credibility as one of the best mystery shopper companies in the UK.

3. Dedicated account management

As with choosing most of your business suppliers, the personal relationship is important too. Finding the right contact(s) that you ‘click with' makes working together much easier.

Find a mystery shopping company that will provide you with a dedicated account manager. A great account manager will ensure a consistently high level of mystery shopping service that meets your business needs with minimal input from you.

4. Flexible programmes

The best mystery shopping programmes, that help a business continually deliver exceptional customer experience and optimal sales process, are deployed on a regular (monthly or quarterly) basis.

However, that does not necessarily mean that is right for your business. Certainly, if you are starting with your first mystery shopping programme, you may want to trial first. Also, dependent on what you are looking to mystery shop, an ad-hoc or one-off mystery shop programme may be suitable in some cases.

Whatever your requirement, the best mystery shopping companies should be flexible to meet your business needs.

5. Actionable insight & TANGIBLE business impact

After all, this is what mystery shopping exists for!

Delivering actionable insight into your business, that can help you drive positive business change; be that by driving individual employee performance improvements, or by informing process change.

The right UK mystery shopping company for your business will have a proven capability of not only delivering insight into your business, but also delivering the information in a way that highlights key areas for improvement, and ultimately helps drive business change.

Make sure you check with the mystery shopping company that they deliver the results in the format you desire; audio, video, written report, summary reports, management level insight etc., should all be delivered as standard by any of the best mystery shopping companies.

 

Yomdel are not only passionate about Customer Experience, and how Mystery Shopping can help shape the experience your business offers. We're also obsessed with delivering all of the above quality measures, for every client we work with.

If you would like to explore your mystery shopping requirement, do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to chat anytime. chris.smith@yomdel.com

 

Chris Smith

Written by Chris Smith

As Sales Team Leader, Chris is passionate about discussing the importance of Customer Experience with as many businesses as possible, and works with clients and new businesses every day on Yomdel’s behalf. If you would like to talk with Chris about the positive impact measuring and delivering an exceptional customers experience can have on your business, then please do get in touch. He would be delighted to have an informal chat and can be reached at chris.smith@yomdel.com.