A great way for retail businesses to grasp what is occurring within their stores is by utilizing a mystery shopping program. Most retail clients are traditional and want any secret shoppers visiting their store to go in and make a small purchase while observing the store’s cleanliness, product placement, and service standards. However, we have a large handful of clients looking for more specific situational shops that require any mystery shoppers and compliance auditors to go into a location with a very specific scenario in mind. Seeing how employees play out these situations with the client helps them understand these instances that commonly occur within their establishment.
If you are a mystery shopper choosing one of these retail locations, ensuring that you completely understand the situation you are being asked to play out is very important. You must be sure that the scenario you have in your head is one that can measure business intelligence while getting an accurate read on their customer service. While the instruction may be simple, the situation most often requires a back story that the shopper needs to be prepared to have, based on the circumstance.
Mystery Shopping at Bridal Stores
If you are conducting a shop that requires you to try on a bridal gown, you need to be prepared to talk about things such as where and when you are getting married, why you may not be wearing a ring, and what type of style and aesthetic you are going for. Bridal store employees may ask you a variety of questions about your upcoming wedding, so making sure you have your story straight is a must.
Improving Employee Interactions at Hardware Stores
If you are conducting a shop that requires you to go into a hardware store and inquire about paint for your home, you may be asked about your preferred color scheme, what areas of your home you are painting, and how much you are going to need based on the size of the project. Even if you are asking about products for other projects, you should have a general idea of what your “project” would require.
Measuring Customer Experiences at Pet Stores
For a shop that requires you to go into a pet store and inquire about products or services for a pet, it’s important that if you don’t actually have a pet, that you are well versed in what you should be asking about. Make sure you have done the necessary research to answer questions about your animal and have a general understanding of what the store has to offer to allow for more genuine interactions.
One of the most common pieces of advice we give our retail auditors is “be prepared.” While this covers a lot of ground and is applicable for just about any situation, it’s especially important with these scenario mystery shops. If you aren’t prepared with your background story, you may put the entire shop in jeopardy. If the employee feels that the conversation is disingenuous, it could flag you as a mystery shopper and delegitimize the efforts of the mystery shopping services you are providing for the company.
Our best guidance for these shops is to really think about the position, and put yourself in the situation of the shop; pretend that this is a real thing you need to do and think about what you may be asked to supply for information. As always, if you aren’t sure, 360 Intel’s Shopper Help Desk team is here to help you with any questions you may have about scenario shops or any other type of shop you choose to conduct.