Mystery Shopping

In Anglo-Saxon countries, professional mystery shopping has already existed since the 1940s. Mystery shopping means that the quality of a service is evaluated with the help of secretly acting trial customers. At first a detailed mystery shopping concept is drawn up for this purpose together with the customer. Afterwards a carefully selected and trained staff carries out specific trial purchases. This is the only way to find out whether the service quality of a customer-orientated company actually meets the expectations set by its own management and by consumers. In the last few decades customer- satisfaction has become the decisive competitive advantage in most industries. Often it is not the specific features of products or services that decide whether a company is successful or not, but rather the quality of service and advising. As this kind of achievement is always provided by the people at the point of sale it is not easy to continuously live up to the highest expectations in this field. There may be many completely different reasons, which could be a lack in motivation or even continuing stress and the possible incompetence of personnel in their respective special fields, why customer care and advising of customers are insufficient. There have been a number of lamentable cases where, although detailed guidelines and instructions how to create a relationship with customers have been issued by managers, these were unfortunately mostly ignored by the recipients. More often than not the management does not recognize the problem at all. If they do, it is often too late and valuable market shares are already lost. However, it does not have to get this far if, by the use of mystery shopping, a permanent monitoring of the service quality takes place. After that the results of this service quality have to be thoroughly analysed and practically turned into concrete schemes.

The responsible persons, who have mystery shopping analyses carried out on a regular basis, know exactly how good or bad the quality of the services performed by their respective companies is and they can react appropriately to possible deficiencies at any time. Thus they succeed in guaranteeing a long-lasting high level of customer-satisfaction, which will, in the long run, result in a strong loyalty of the target group to the company or the brand respectively. Consequently the result will also be a reliably high turnover.