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Have you Been Planted? April 27, 2011

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Mystery shopping is evolving – it’s no longer a quick in and out assessment of a business. Instead, it has become a valuable training tool for many companies across the globe.

One of the newer trends is looking at existing customer experiences using a method we call “Plant a Shopper.” The traditional mystery shop evaluates a new or potential customer’s experience, and companies are now keying in to the existing customer’s experience – after all, it’s more expensive to gain new customers than it is to keep the existing ones.

Banks have been doing this for some time, and now we’re seeing an increase in other industries as well. Park Districts and libraries are doing these types of shops, as are household services such as lawn care or housekeeping.

It’s a bit different from traditional shopping in that it is more long-term – in the case of a park district, you would be required to sign up for a class or program. After each class, you would provide an evaluation touching on key points, such as the instructor’s professionalism, how the class is managed, content, etc. At the end of the class, you would provide an overall assessment of the entire experience.

In the case of a bank, you might be required to start an account and then use the account in various ways, such as making transactions with the tellers, placing phone calls with inquiries, or emailing the bank to gauge the response. After a set period of time, you would go back to the branch to close the account. This gives banks a snapshot of the entire experience.

As a shopper, they are generally good shops to get – you typically get consistent work at a good rate. However, before taking this type of project, you need to make sure you’ll be able to commit for the entire length of the project. If not, you risk non-payment for any of the work you’ve done, since it would likely have to be rescheduled with another shopper.

As mystery shopping continues to evolve, there will be many ways in which shoppers are utilized to give companies the insight and information they need.

Until next time…happy shopping!



1. Jennyfer Estrera - May 2, 2012

It’s funny how the idea of mystery shopping can be very useful in evaluating class and banks. I usually do mystery shopping jobs on restaurants and shopping malls. I have never heard about a mystery shopper evaluating a class until I have read this post. Thanks for this unique info.

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