Don’t use mystery shoppers to spy on yourself; it’s all a game of Chinese whispers. If you bring a person into your store using financial incentives, you aren’t going to get your hands on anything real. When we say “real”, we mean real feedback from your real customers. It is what allows you to learn from your mistakes and improve your business; it is the legendary key to sustained success everyone is desperately looking for. Still not convinced about the shortcomings of mystery shoppers? Read on, please.
The Ugly Truth
A mystery shopper is basically someone or some company you hire to behave like a customer and get reports about certain details in their fake customer experience. Here is what typically happens with them:
- They aren’t your real customers. They care more about the reward rather than the research.
- What they see doesn’t represent your general situation. They are sent at a predetermined date and time.
- They are sent to the same branch twice in a month. Your staff probably recognize them.
- Whatever details they will report on is set in stone. You can’t ask them to record additional new data on the go.
- They can’t give you instant feedback and you can’t react at the interaction moment.
- Limited number of visits mean limited effect on staff morale. Reviews have a skewed effect.
Basically, if you aren’t using mystery shoppers to spy on your competition, you’re doing it wrong. Their insights can be limited, yet very enlightening about your rival companies. However, when it comes to yourself, you need the voice of real customers. Strangers shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Feedback from using mystery shoppers on your business will give birth to misinformed opinions. And misinformed opinions mean mistaken decisions; mistaken decisions will drag any establishment’s performance down. So, drop it.
Your Knight in Shining Survey
How can you assess your business then? There are other effective ways like our in-store survey kiosks and QR codes provided at restaurant tables or in hotel rooms. Here’s how you win with Pisano’s solutions, all points proven by experience and actual data:
- Real customers.
- You receive feedback from approximately 10,000 real customers each month on average.
- Feedback is real time. No more waiting for reports.
- You can change the question forms for specific stores. Tailor the data for your needs.
- Since instantaneous feedback is possible, you can react fast.
- Staff morale is kept high thanks to constant feedback. Their mistakes aren’t exaggerated and thus don’t affect their performance. They also get praised for what they did right, on time.
Some of our clients like McDonald’s and BP have decided to discontinue their mystery shopper practices in the near future. Just like them, don’t work with perceptions; you can access real customer insights and create strong action plans. Alter your market research methods and put more emphasis on your real clients. As Pisano, we are looking forward to help you create your own success story.