Mystery Shopper

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What is a Mystery Shopper?

If you own or manage a business, a mystery shopper can save your profits and your business by giving you a realistic view from a customer’s perspective.

A mystery shopper is hired to investigate customer service and employee honesty at a business. A secret shopper poses as a customer or client, and tries to find out whether employees at a specific business are honest and helpful. If you own or manage a business, a mystery shopper can save your profits and your business by giving you a realistic view from a customer’s perspective.

What exactly does a mystery shopper do?

The mystery shopper will attempt to purchase something, will ask questions, will ask customer service for support, and will closely observe the overall experience they receive. Once they leave the store, they will note the quality of their purchase, the quality of their customer service experience, and any evidence of fraud they have seen. Based on this information, a business will know whether they have reliable employees and good customer service or not.

Do you need a mystery shopper?

If you own or manage a business, the quality of service and products you offer your customers can increase your revenue significantly or lead you to bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the employer may not always be aware how employee act when unsupervised and this can cause you to lose customers. Employees are generally on their best behavior when their employer is present. The only way for you to know whether your employees are trustworthy or not, or whether they are taking part in fraud or illegal activities, is to ask someone from the outside to come in and perform an investigation.

Mystery shopping is simply a type of business investigation that gives you the tool you need to run your business well. Without mystery shopping, you are simply guessing whether your business is in jeopardy are not until it’s too late. Are you willing to take that risk?

Why should you hire a private investigator as a mystery shopper?

Secret shopping is too important to entrust to simply anyone. While many research companies hire freelancers to pose as customers, private investigators can offer your business:

  • Legality– In some states, it is simply illegal to hire anyone but a private investigator as a secret shopper. In many states, video secret shoppers need to be private investigators. Plus, private investigators are trained to know the law and therefore know exactly what limits they must not cross in the course of a business investigation.
  • Professionalism– Private investigators are trained to observe. Hiring a private investigator to secret shop at your company ensures that you get the most precise details about your employees activities at work and customer’s level of satisfaction with employees.
  • Evidence– Private investigators are allowed by law to gather evidence of employee dishonesty and fraud. They are even trained to do so. When you hire a private investigator as a secret shopper, you will get not only a report on your employee’s performance, but also the proof you need to confront employees who may be stealing from you or your customers.

Why do you need to hire a private investigator?

There are plenty of reasons why you can’t afford not to try mystery shopping:

One dissatisfied customer is likely to cost you a lot of business. Several studies have found that customers not happy with their experience at a business usually will not complain to management. In most cases, they will simply not do business with that retailer again and will encourage others not to do business with that retailer as well.

Customer surveys and incentive programs have proven less effective when customers are upset. Many customers are simply unwilling to share negative feedback with management when they are upset or believe their comments have little value. This is especially true if this is not the customers first bad experience with your business. Customers also tend to be biased, whereas professionals involved in mystery shopping exist solely to provide impartial information.

Confidentiality, Integrity, and Professionalism
Washington State Investigators