Mystery shopping is a tool used to measure quality of service, or compliance with regulation, or to gather specific information on the quality of services provided. The mystery shopper’s identity and purpose are generally not known by the establishment being evaluated in order to authentic service provision.

Before launching a mystery shopping program, the hotel or catering outlet must think through the various people and departments this will affect – from Human Resources and Training to Marketing and every level of management. The goal is to ensure everyone in the organisation understands that the ultimate purpose of the mystery shopping program is to improve the specific behaviours that will create customer delight and positively impact sales and profitability.

The most important aspect of a mystery shopping program is the accuracy of the data. Inaccurate mystery shopping data will inevitably result in corporate and field management teams spending their valuable time challenging scores and trying to get mystery shopping program errors corrected versus focusing on how to improve the customer experience. Too many inaccurate reports will cause the program to lose credibility, and at that point, even the accurate reports will no longer be taken seriously.

Therefore, choosing your mystery shopping partner is critical. At IHE, we have strict hiring criteria in place. Shoppers should need to prove that they can effectively communicate before they are ever even entered into our quality mystery shopping company’s database.  We put exceptional emphasis on:

»    Shopper Selection

»    Shopper Training

»    Shopper Scheduling

»    Shop Auditing

»    Shopper Support