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Mystery Shopping Case Study: The Downtown Naperville Experience November 4, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Have you ever wondered what happens to the mystery shopping reports you complete? Do companies value the information? How do they use it?

In a past post we reviewed some ways in which companies use the information they receive from mystery shops. Independent studies are also conducted from time to time by mystery shopping providers to look at various customer service issues.

To illustrate this use for mystery shopping, I wanted to share a recent study conducted by Ann Michaels & Associates. This study took a look at a sampling of retail merchants within Downtown Naperville, Illinois. If you’re not familiar with the area, Naperville has a wonderful downtown area, complete with shopping, restaurants, a riverwalk, and much more. People flock to the area on a regular basis to enjoy the downtown area. You can learn more about Naperville here.

Ann Michaels & Associates was curious to learn more about the service provided in the area. A sample of retail merchants were selected, ranging from large corporate stores to mom and pop retailers. Three shoppers visited each of the stores within the study over a period of time, varying days and times to get an overall snapshot of the service levels.

The results were quite positive – the retailers excelled at greeting customers within one minute of entering (71% of the time across all shops), and overall service levels fell into the 80% range. There were many individual retailers who scored well above the average. To read the entire summary of this study, please visit this link.

I hope you enjoy learning more about how the work you do is used by various companies.  It’s an important job, and one that is taken to heart by our clients.

Until next time…happy shopping!

Mystery Shopping and Five Guys Burgers: A Winning Combination October 29, 2009

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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It’s no secret that Five Guys Burgers uses mystery shopping – if you’re expecting to learn which company shops them though, you’re out of luck.

An article was published last July that highlights reasons why Five Guys Burgers is so successful; one component is mystery shopping.  You can read the article here.

What I like most about their concept is that they are using mystery shopping to catch the good, not the bad. That is the key to a successful program. If companies are using it for a “Big Brother” approach, it is doomed to fail. We always guide our clients to use it as a positive tool, and most (if not all) include an incentive or bonus program for high performance.

What is the takeaway for a mystery shopper? Quite simple: remember that your goal during a shop is not to find people doing things wrong, or providing bad service. You serve as an objective, third party source of information. Your job is to simply look at the business based on the company’s standards and culture and report what you find and experience. It’s that simple.

The article highlights the importance of mystery shoppers to be their “eyes and ears in the field.”  It’s nice to see how different companies use mystery shopping, and drives home the point that mystery shoppers play an important role in a company’s success.

Until next time…happy shopping!

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