To many people, the idea of mystery shopper investigation is confusing and, often, misleading. At first guess, many people believe that a mystery shopper investigation is an investigation conducted into the identity of an unknown shopper. This idea seems silly, unnecessary, and, to those that value their privacy, scary. However, rest assured that a mystery shopper investigation is not concerned with the identity of any shopper.
In fact, a mystery shopper investigation is actually an investigation into the store that the mystery shopper enters.
Here is a little explanation:
A mystery shopper is not, in fact, a shopper. A mystery shopper is a hired professional that dresses as a civilian and assumed the persona of an innocent, average shopper who has wandered into some store. They act like any other person, browsing racks, checking out the sales, and occasionally asking questions of store employees. However the mystery shopper has an agenda that is much different than the agenda of every other shopper in the store; the mystery shopper is there to judge.
As the mystery shopper interacts with customer service personnel, asks questions, and purchases merchandise, they are examining, analyzing and judging their shopping experience. This information is used in fraud detection and, most importantly, in a judgment of the competency and agreeableness of customer service and employee personnel.
Why is this done?
Many people are surprised to learn that a mystery shopper is often hired by none other than the company that they mystery shopper investigates. Many companies want to gain a truthful outside perspective on their business practices and employees. The best way to do this is to get an opinion straight from the customer. A mystery shopper provides this customer opinion as well as an added level of professionalism and experience that will be invaluable when compounded with the advice and analysis that he or she will be able to provide the company.
When it comes to mystery shoppers, don’t just hire any freelancer. SK Investigative Services has experienced professionals with years of experience, validity, and training that they will be able to provide you with to get the opinion you need. The help of a private investigator in a mystery shopper case is integral if you wish to improve the customer service, experience, and employee attitude or your shop.
Another good reason to hire a private investigator as your mystery shopper is legality.
In many countries it is illegal to hire anybody but a licensed private investigator as a mystery shopper. For a variety of reasons, and for the sake of acting within the law so as to avoid lawsuits, fines, and jail time, it is best act within the bounds of the law and hire a professional private investigator.
Additionally, private investigators are legally able to collect evidence of employee fraud. A regular mystery shopper will be able to give you feedback on company performance, but a professional private investigator that is hired to be a mystery shopper will be able to provide evidence of employee fraud.
Remember how you were so confused about the amount of discounts that were being used in the jewelry section of your department store? After hiring a private investigator and listening to his accounts and reviewing evidence, you learn that one of your employees has been handing out discounts to customers in an attempt to increase number of sales and commissions. He has been costing your company hundreds of dollars without you even being aware of the fraudulent discounts!
Though a private investigator may be a more expensive mystery shopper, it is important to realize that the information they can give you is something you cannot afford to live without!