Businesses that are considering adopting a mystery shopping strategy - be it for customer service, consumer spending or competitor research - should remember that it is an ongoing, constantly evolving practice.
The fluctuating nature of consumer activity suggests research culled over one period may not be indicative of trends in the following period, pointing out the need to stay in tune with industry news.
Maz Iqbal points out in Business 2 Community that organizations should work together to optimize their research strategies, utilizing all necessary time and effort to ensure that an effective program can be introduced. He even suggests companies refine their programs every quarter.
"So when you are planning the mystery shopping program, then all parties should be figuring out what needs to be changed based on what has happened in the marketplace (new entrants, new products, new moves by competitors), the changes that organization has made (products, processes, touch-points) and what the last quarter's mystery shopping produced," Iqbal states.
Managers should stay involved in the secret shopping process throughout the entirety of the program and delegate responsibilities according to the changing needs of the business and its market.