Mystery Shopping

This analyses the objective quality in the providing of the service, assessing aspects of the store in which the purchase occurs, with knowledge of the product or service, customer service quality, etc. They can be programs of various kinds, among which we highlight the following:

  • Evaluation of retail networks of stores, branches and offices.
  • Assessment of points of service and customer care.
  • Evaluation of sales forces and commercial reps.
  • Benchmarking of purchasing processes.

Type of Projects

  • Performance network assessment of different retailers, with thousands of points of sale.
  • Benchmarking of banking services purchasing processes through telephone banking and Internet.
  • Identification of commercial prescription patterns.
  • Competitor’s tracking.

Success Stories in Mystery Shopping Engagements

Mystery shopping actions to gauge service quality

In this project, we worked for a services company with a network of more than 5,000 shops for distributing its services.
This annual exercise includes the following activities:

  • Mystery shopping actions on a sample of own stores, evaluating aspects such as the physical store characteristics, knowledge of the service, commercial attitude of staff and quality of service rendered to customers.
  • Mystery shopping actions on competing stores near the client’s outlets, measuring the same variables to make the appropriate comparisons.

Benchmarking of online purchasing processes

Our client is the online banking subsidiary of one of the major banks in Spain. As part of a broader project to reformulate the bank value proposition and its customer service model, we were commissioned to benchmark purchasing processes through Internet and telephone banking in the industry:

  • We mapped out purchasing processes for three different banking products: checking accounts, deposits and mortgages.
  • Players under observation by mystery shopping actions were five selected competitors as well as our own client. All of them were known in the industry for their good practices in remote-channels banking.

Benchmarking study included conducting over 100 procurement processes. As a result of these observations we characterized strengths and weaknesses of each entity as well as best practices in purchasing processes. The analysis of all this led us to propose a number of improvement opportunities both in the configuration of the products as well as in the sales and customer-service processes.

Research of competitor’s offers

In this case, the client is an international financial institution with a reduced presence in the Spanish market. Its strategic positioning relies on a high specialization of its offer, being the market leaders in selected banking products.

In order to maintain its leadership position in these products, our client needed to know constantly its main competitor’s offers. Getting this information is not always easy, because banks in Spain tend to offer preferred prices and better terms to key customers, information which is not public. Therefore, a given bank could have a standard offer for most of their customers while offering preferential conditions to some of its key customers.Then, the only way to obtain such information is by performing mystery shopping actions:

  • We collected information concerning three products: saving accounts, deposits and selected investment funds.
  • The research covered seven of the major banks in Spain, focusing on those having the most aggressive commercial offer in the products targeted by our client.

Fieldwork was carried out nationwide, running mystery-shopping waves on a monthly basis, in order to gather up-to-date information to support decision-making processes concerning product prices.