It’s the most….wonderful time…..of the year…..
We really do love this time of year. It’s a time where companies reflect on the year past and make plans for the year to come. It’s also the time when most suppliers and vendors are evaluated – and sometimes cut. If you are considering this with your mystery shop program provider, read this first.
There is a plethora of providers out there to manage your mystery shop program, but not all providers are alike. If you have a current mystery shop program, but are unexcited at the results, this is the time to evaluate your options.
Here are 3 questions to ask your mystery shop program provider now (before you renew!).
#1 How do you ensure quality data?
You likely use the information gathered in your reports to make decisions that could have a long-term impact on your business, so it’s paramount you receive the best data possible. For larger chains, that data could be the culmination of hundreds, if not thousands, of individual reports by as many shoppers.
It’s important then to choose a partner that invests in quality assurance. Our internal quality assurance team here at 360 Intel reviews and validates all of the information contained in shop reports prior to passing it along to our clients. This ensures when clients see the data at their end, it’s clean and accurate.
#2 How do you handle scheduling?
If the program provider relies on mystery shoppers who self-assign their own visits, the program execution rate is at risk. Scheduling can also be a challenge if the business is in a remote location where it may be difficult to attract qualified shoppers. And without enough shop data, a program can quickly lose momentum and operators miss out on key indicators of the business.
A mystery shopper provider will have a higher degree of success in meeting the requirements of the client if they have a dedicated team. We at 360 Intel have a minimum 90-day rotation of shoppers visiting locations and can make that more stringent if needed for a specific location. That is why we have staff dedicated solely to scheduling shoppers and are proactive at finding the right shopper for a client.
#3 What kind of support is included?
We’ve all experienced this: programs are started, and once they do it becomes impossible to speak to a person for help with questions or changes.
Each program, while often similar to others, is specific to that particular business and may require some adjustment to get the best information possible. Those who provide client support should be well-versed in the goals of the program and be knowledgeable about the client’s operation to help them succeed.
At 360 Intel, for example, we have a dedicated relationship manager for each of our clients, with that person charged with making their program as successful as possible. We also have a Client Help Desk ready to assist with any issues or questions that may arise, or even just help with generating custom reports.