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The Shift in Traditional Mystery Shopping June 17, 2010

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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Years ago, mystery shopping focused on the onsite experience. More recently, it has shifted to telephone evaluations as another area of importance, as businesses realize that customer service standards need to be upheld across all customer touchpoints.

As internet traffic and online shopping have increased, there is again a shift in mystery shopping uses. Online mystery shops have been on the increase – if you haven’t seen them, they are a simple and interesting, and provide a nice diversion from the norm.

We’ve seen clients use online shops for a variety of uses – anything from being assigned to shop for a specific product to evaluate the ease of use or making a purchase to then take pictures of the delivery and enclosed information, to emailing or using the live chat feature to interact and track response time. We have also seen instances in where shoppers are required to place an order online, and, once it is received, call to place a complaint to see how it is handled. Sometimes the return process is also evaluated.

Written evaluations seems to be the norm for this type of shop, but most recently we’ve seen recorded shops in which shoppers use an online recording product where the client can “watch” the shopper as they navigate the website. This helps clients see what customers see first when visiting their website, where they tend to click and other pertinent web analysis. Couple this with audio recording of the experience, and the client can be a “fly on the wall.”

It is definitely interesting to watch as this industry evolves. I’ve been in the business for 12 years, so I’ve seen it all so far! Mystery shopping is a great industry to be a part of for this reason – you never know what’s going to happen next!

Until next time…happy shopping!

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