Overnight hotel mystery shopping programs are an excellent way for our clients in the lodging industry to gather data about the different areas of their properties. While the basic parts of a hotel stay — such as reservations, check-in, cleanliness, and staff service — are important parts of the overall visit, our clients also take these opportunities to get an even bigger picture of their properties. They will often include valet, in-room dining, housekeeping, maintenance, bar, and dining, along with other offered amenities in their mystery shop scenarios.
How Involved is Hotel Mystery Shopping?
Hotel shops have always been very popular shops, and are always very quick to get picked up when they are posted on our job board. For these shops, shoppers are most often compensated for the full cost of their overnight stay, in addition to the other required purchases such as room service, a bar visit, and even retail shopping within the property.
However, while the shop is very enticing to shoppers in terms of reimbursement, there is a lot of additional work that goes into these shops. These shops are extensive and often require seasoned hospitality secret shoppers familiar with the different scenarios that can be a part of these types of shops. Shoppers need to be prepared to ask specific questions and create different circumstances to gain feedback on how these situations are handled by various staff departments within the property and how that directly impacts the customer experience.
Some of these scenarios include:
- Technical Challenges: Issues with the Wi-Fi, television, or any of the electrical equipment.
- Housekeeping Issues: Claiming something in the room is not up to standard in terms of cleanliness and engaging a housekeeper accordingly.
- Use of the Concierge: Informing them that you aren’t familiar with the area and need assistance finding a specific retail store, dinner reservation, etc.
- Security Issues: Being locked out of the room, you have lost a room key, etc.
- Initiating an Upgrade: Informing the reservation or check-in employee that you saw a discounted rate on a third-party site, trying to get a room upgrade at no charge, etc.
These shops require preparation before you head out on your visit. It’s essential to read through all the instructions and to read through the entire form before doing the shop, so you know exactly what you are looking for. While understanding the specific scenarios is important, some hotel shops also require many photos, especially when something is off (cleanliness, posted signage, staff uniforms, etc.).
Attention to Detail
The other challenge with these shops is that the forms are very long and require a lot of detail. You will be asked to review many different areas and amenities that the hotel offers, so taking the time to fill out the report as you go (in an inconspicuous manner) is definitely encouraged. You will interact with plenty of different employees, and ensuring you can recall names and descriptions is crucial.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Compensation for these shops always aligns with what is required, but it’s important to know what you are signing up for when you schedule a hotel mystery shop. These shops are fun, but they also require a lot of preparation and organization from the shopper’s perspective. If anything is unclear with these shops, we highly recommend reaching out to your scheduler in advance to clarify anything before going out on these shops. These shops require a lot of money upfront from the shopper, and we want to make sure the shop is successfully completed for the shopper to be compensated accordingly.
Utilize a Trusted Mystery Shopping Company
360 Intel uses hotel mystery shopping services as a means of helping companies in the hospitality industry improve their customer service and provide them with the insights necessary to find out what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. If you are a company looking to improve your experience, or if you are looking for mystery shopping jobs in the hotel industry, reach out to us today!