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Should You Hire A Mystery Shopper?

As a business owner, you know that you canít keep an eye on every employee in every store you own at the same time, and you also know that when you arenít there, things may not always go as they should. You also know that your customers are the life of your business, and that if they routinely receive bad service or have a bad experience when they are at your business, they wonít return. So, how do you know what is going on when you arenít around? The answer is simple, mystery shoppers!


Mystery shoppers donít only report on the bad stuff, they also report on the good stuff as well. If they see a great employee, you might use that information to consider that employee for a promotion, or raise, that you might not have thought of on your own, since you may not have had a lot of run-inís with that particular person. Chances are, you will get more negative reports than good, and it is up to you to interpret those reports, and decide what actions if any should be taken.

Your mystery shoppers will likely be more effective with providing you with the information you are looking for if you type up a questionnaire, or specific information that you want them to report on, depending upon the nature of your business. If you own a chain of fast food restaurants, then you want to know how long the wait in line is, outside cleanliness of the facilities, inside cleanliness of the facilities, maintenance needs, employee information, food quality, etc. If you donít ask for specifics, donít expect to get them.

You want to make certain that you are receiving the services that you are paying for, particularly if you are using a mystery shopping company. If you get provided with information that you donít need, or that you donít feel is relevant to your business, then you should not only speak up, you should see prompt action taken to correct the problem. You are the one who should dictate what information you want to receive, and the form in which you wish to receive it in. The companyís responsibility is to make certain that their employees provide you with what you are seeking.

You should be aware that there are many companies out there who provide services of mystery shoppers, but like everything else, all are not what they seem to be. Take the time to do your homework on the company that you are hiring, and donít just blindly believe all of the hype that they throw your way. Chances are, they will promise you the moon if that means you will give them money for their ďservicesĒ, but why toss your money around on someone who may not actually do anything to help you further your business? Since you trust these mystery shoppers to be your eyes and ears, do you really want a company that doesnít have a good reputation, or that is new to the business?

Ultimately, you have to decide what you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay for it, as well as what company you wish to get those services from. You can check references, or maybe talk to other business owners, but the end decision is yours to make.

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