It’s just a quick single shop visit today, and because of that it’s going to be a short blog. It’s actually a second visit to the same national pub chain that I visited earlier in the year. Let’s use it to take a look at your mystery shopping objectives and what they mean to you.
But I’ll use this opportunity to take a look at this mystery shop in more detail, as it’s one I manage to do about once a fortnight. It is in a restaurant, where service is an integral part of what they do.
Mystery shopping objectives
I always try to look a little deeper into what the mystery shop company is trying to measure when I’m out conducting a shop. From some of the questions asked by the mystery shop company, I’ll take a look at what we’re attempting to discover. These questions have been edited to protect the anonymity of the mystery shop company and the client. But are similar in structure to the originals. This gives me the opportunity to explore the customer service measures behind the questions. And think about the mystery shopping objectives here.
Were you acknowledged before you were served, whilst standing at the counter? Yes/No
Did you begin to receive service within 1 minute 30 seconds of being positioned at the counter? Yes/No
Obviously we are looking at a service here, but a particular kind of service. It’s the all-encompassing service of someone behind the counter that is in control of their counter. The questions are designed to measure that the person behind the counter. They may be busy with a lunchtime rush, has a good idea of who is arriving in their view, that they have seen them, acknowledged them and will be ready to serve them. It’s about making sure that the customer knows they’ve not been ignored and that they will be served as soon as possible. It creates a feeling of calmness at the counter as every customer knows the server has control.
How this fits with the mystery shopping objectives
Another question asked was –
Did you receive a check back during your meal?
If you are a regular mystery shopper then you will be aware of the term check back. A check back is where the member of staff returns to your table during your meal to see that everything is satisfactory. And the purpose of this is to see if the customer wants anything else. For example, the customer needs more gravy, has dropped their fork and needs a clean one, wants another drink or anything else. So this serves a double purpose – customer service (making sure the customer is okay) and sales (seeing if there is anything else that the customer wants to buy) and this double purpose is something that companies will want to see if their staff are carrying out. Hence the fact that it is included on pretty much every pub and restaurant food order mystery shop.
Like what you read? Want to become a mystery shopper?
My Amazon Kindle book on mystery shopping and how to become a mystery shopper is out now.