Retail businesses where the owners can't be at all stores, all the time, want to be sure that their employees are doing their jobs. Having someone come in to evaluate the employees -- undercover, so the employees won't know they're being watched -- is one of the best ways to see how everyone fares in a real workday. Many companies might think sending in an employee from the corporate office could work, but there are some definite problems with going that route. Businesses are much better off sending in mystery shoppers who aren't otherwise connected to the company.
Company Staff Aren't Impartial
Simply sending someone in undercover isn't enough; that person needs to be someone who can fairly evaluate the behavior of the employees given the circumstances. Company employees may be too invested in ensuring that maxims like "the customer is always right" are observed in the store, so employees dealing with aggressive customers may have more "points" placed against them in the corporate employee's mind. A mystery shopper can simply report what he or she saw during the course of the visit without being too invested in making the company look extra good.
Mystery Shoppers Are Completely Anonymous
With the increase in the number of company websites placing pictures of employees in public view, it's easy for store workers to see who works at the company's corporate offices. While not every employee will have their face featured on the site, these companies will find their choices for "anonymous shoppers" to be limited -- and once an employee acts as an undercover shopper, that employee really can't go back to the store on company business later on. A mystery shopper service provides shoppers who are completely unfamiliar to the store workers.
No Time Away From Department Duties
Sending a corporate employee to scope out how the workers are doing also takes time away from that employee's normal duties. The employee may have other issues on his or her mind instead of watching store workers and trying to evaluate their behavior. In other words, you need someone dedicated to interacting with the store workers and noting how they act, rather than someone thinking about all the reports he or she needs to file back at the office.
Mystery shopping is simple: Someone goes to the store, acts as a regular customer, and then sends information about what the workers and the store were like. These reports can include quotes or information about specific requests and how the workers reacted. If a business really wants more insight into how each store is performing, a mystery shopper is the best for the job. To find out more information about mystery shoppers, talk to a company such as Shoppers Critique.