Mystery Shopping

Do you want to know how your staff members serve your clients? How well-disposed are they and how rapidly and effectively do they deliver information to your clients? What are advantages and disadvantages in your service chain and what should be improved initially?

In order to answer similar questions the organizations management can conduct service audit through Mystery Shopping.

Mystery Shopping is one of the marketing research methods, that implies quantitative research, though includes certain qualitative elements as well.

Competition in business environment was an incentive fort creation of Mystery Shopping method.

When various companies, organizations or trade outlets offer similar products or services, consumers have to make choice. Then he/she becomes a loyal client of the trade center or company that offers the best quality service. Good service is one of the most important advantages in competitive environment.


Mystery Shopping aims at checking skills and competence of organization staff members (sales assistant, operator, etc) in the relations with clients.

Through Mystery Shopping procedural and personal problems may be revealed and the organization should solve these problems.

Mystery Shopping enables the company management to control competence of staff and their skills in relations with clients. It provides the staff members themselves with the motivation to be well-disposed and competent with any client and any time.

This technique is applied to provide objective/impartial answers (unlike answers of real clients) to the questions like: how well do the staff members serve for clients? How well do they know products, their advantages and consumption expiration date.

Method Description

Mystery Shopping is a wide-spread and frequently used technique of service quality research. During this study the questionnaire on service quality is filled not by a real client having individual attitude towards a particular organization, but by interviewers of the research organization who visit target companies as clients. They will perform scenario planned in advance and then fill the questionnaire about service quality on a concrete staff member.

Within the frames of Mystery Shopping, in the process of personal and telephone research the staff member does no know that he/she communicates not with a common client but with a representative of research company, who observes his/her skills in relations with staff members.

Hired research participants and IPM representatives pass through special training, they get acquainted with research goal, scenarios and questionnaires prepared beforehand. They are warned about confidentiality of the information.

Relations with clients are studied together with the client based on especially developed plan, direct observing process and telephone inquiry.

For direct observing process and telephone conversations IPM Research has developed special questionnaires according to which the data on staff members will be assessed based on their relations with clients.

Controllable parameters:

This kind of research provides assessment of the following features and skills:

Politeness skills

Mobilization an competence of staff member

Delay solution

Self-control and conflict management

Observance of procedural standards by staff members

Research conditions

All staff members, subjects to service observance should be warned about research in advance and all of them should be able to get acquainted with the list of skills to be focused

Research Results

Research results are given through tables and graphic images accompanied with comments in case of need. Besides a client will get a technical report, i.e. description of the research process and identified problems.

Research terms depend on the number and volume of target objects.