You complete a mystery shop and submit your report. An editor reviews it and then it goes to the client. But what happens then? Who reads your report and what do they do with the information?
Each client decides what information they need from their secret shops, and how it will be used. Here are some common scenarios.
The information you provide may be “sliced and diced” and distributed to various parts of the client organization. For example, the corporate office may get a summary of the results for all locations. A regional manager may get summary data and short narratives from each report. And a copy of the report may be sent to the location you shopped. The client decides how the report data is distributed.
The manager may share the report with the employees who were shopped. Some will post the report somewhere it can be read by all the employees, such as in the break room. I have been in grocery stores where shop reports were posted on a bulletin board near the public restrooms where they could be seen by employees, vendors, customers . . . anyone.
Mystery shopper reports are used to reward good employees. They may determine (at least in part) who is selected as employee of the month, whether someone receives a bonus or the amount of their raise.
Although it is possible that the results of a mystery shop may be used as one part of the documentation compiled to terminate an employee, it is highly doubtful that an employee would be terminated solely on the results of a mystery shop.
Reports also determine how employees could be trained to better serve customers, or to increase sales (such as with suggestive selling techniques). If reports show that employees are not saying thank you or not recommending additional items, those issues can be targeted for the next training session.
Depending on what observations the client requests, secret shopper reports may also be used to identify safety or liability issues, or determine compliance with legal requirements.
Because the same criteria are used in each shop, reports show how the performance of one location compares to another, or how a particular location has performed over time.
Mystery shopper reports give businesses information they can use to survive in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.