QRCA Views Magazine, Winter 2018

50 QRCA VIEWS Winter 2018 www.qrca.org What Is Mystery Shopping? In simple terms, mystery shopping is feed- back from shoppers of their experience inter- acting with a company’s contact centre repre- sentatives, sales reps, and other front-line staff. Types of Mystery Shopping Essentially there are two types of mystery shops—large audits and special shops. The latter is where qualitative researchers have an opportunity to expand their toolkits. Large audits: • are typically conducted for national retail chains, where most if not all the outlets are shopped on a monthly or quarterly basis; • assess the basics in customer experience, e.g., store appearance, signage and service; as well as • require extensive shopper support and soft- ware resources, given that 1,000 or more shops are frequently completed. Special shops: • are usually one-off studies that supplement other research findings (e.g. competitive intelligence, focus groups, cus- tomer satisfaction); • focus on higher-level themes such as uncovering competitors’ best practices or assessing staff compliance in following new legislation; and • include both B2B and consumer scenarios. While the sample size for special shops is often less than 50, the amount of detail is extensive. For example, 20 commercial bank shops could very well entail documenting over 40 hours of real-life bank experience (i.e. accounting for scheduling the appoint- ments, having one or two bank appoint- ments and a follow-up after each appointment). n TOOLBOX n How Qualitative Market Researchers Can Add to Their ToolKits By David Lithwick n Principal n Market Alert Limited n Toronto, Canada n david@marketalert.ca Mystery Shopping