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Mystery shopping for a B2B client

Most of the time, mystery shoppers are sent out to examine retail stores and describe a customer service experience, but many companies don't realize that business to business services can also be examined through the lens of mystery shopping. The secret, according to Business 2 Community, is that the mystery shopper acts as another business calling a company asking for help. By working with a manager on the inside, the mystery shopper can establish his or her own account with the company and write a more effective report.

The benefits of B2B shops are pretty big considering how many different kinds of businesses exist that provide service to other enterprises. For a company that works with a broad range of industries, such as a small internet service provider or a local shipping carrier, it helps to know that not only will ordinary customers be satisfied with service, but business owners will also have a good experience.

Getting to know the company
The first step toward becoming a mystery shopper who is representing a fictional business is to have a very good understanding of what this "business" does and how it operates. If you are working closely with a manager who wants to see how his or her team operates under pressure, then this person can help you with what he or she perceives to be potential weaknesses in service to particular industries.

After you understand what you are representing, you simply contact the company by calling their service number and explaining who you are and what you want. If management has prearranged to have you put into the account system, you may already have an idea about what questions to ask, such as updating your service or expediting a certain package delivery. If you are just supposed to call in order to ask about how much something costs, then pretend you don't know anything about the business you're calling and begin asking questions in the same way you would interact with someone as a mystery shopper over the phone. Find out how easy it is to learn specific details, such as the delivery time for products or the challenges involved in a certain service or installation procedure.

Make sure to take notes, just as you would for a normal mystery shopping call.

Following through
You may be asked to represent a company that wants to sign up for a service or membership and to follow through on all the steps up to becoming a client. In a case like that, it's important to have all the facts you will need to accurately represent yourself as a business. Ask for a contract, and talk about different deals. Don't be afraid to negotiate in the same way that a business would do so.

It's important to properly research your "company's" industry, particularly at a stage when you begin asking for a contract, because otherwise you may come across as insincere.

Writing the report
The report for a B2B mystery shopping experience is much the same as it would be for an ordinary trip as a mystery shopper. Remember to follow US News and World Report's advice about writing, and use clear, concise diction, particularly regarding business deals. You will want to take very accurate notes - probably much more so than an ordinary mystery shopping experience, because you want to explain exactly what the business on the other side of the phone told you. Record the deal you reached with the company, and explain anything that you found to be inadequate in terms of how well the company served its purpose, either with providing services to an "existing client" or representing itself to a new business.