Shopping Undercover: Increasing the Value of Mystery Shoppers

Mystery Shoppers

Their mission is to report their “objective” findings as precisely as possible, with the job demanding excellent communication skills, discretion…and memory.

“Her Name is on the Tip of My Tongue…”

Mystery Shoppers are sent undercover to service businesses with a mission of evaluating staff performance, customer behavior, cleanliness, and various measures of service, satisfaction and selection.

With all their information gathering, Mystery Shoppers often lament the difficulty in retaining the countless details of their findings, from the moment they are mentally noted and until they are safely out of sight and can complete their reports or questionnaires. After all, they must remember names, what was said, who said what and in what context, how long something took, and many other minutiae.

Although preferred Mystery Shoppers are certified through training, providing tools for working more precisely, Shoppers are still only human and keeping details straight is objectively difficult.

The Devil is in the Details

Yes, indeed, it is the details that provide the precious insights and value to businesses paying to have outsiders audit their performance. If a Mystery Shopper is precise, the value is great…but if the details are even a bit embellished or misrepresented, a report can be highly misleading…even costly!

Mystery Shoppers, as mentioned, are provided a shopping list (pun intended!) of items to evaluate – most importantly, Voice of Customer and Voice of Seller, and all matters of precision.

Among the advice I have seen offered to Mystery Shoppers, few actually deal with how to memorize such an abundance of information accurately.

What is needed is technological intervention that captures the details, analyzes them and preserves the objectivity of the secret shopping experience.

The Pluses and Minuses of Recording

The value of an accurate report provides a convincing argument for recording Mystery Shopping sprees. Conceivably, it can help ensure accuracy of all of the details, sequences and dialogues – but only as long as there is a quality recording produced.

While considering this option, it is important to note that recording of conversations by phone or in-person are regulated by state, federal and international laws, which must be observed. (See Digital Privacy Laws in your relevant jurisdiction.)

Yet, even a successful recording is limited in its value, as it must be transcribed and analyzed – manual processes that take precious time, energy and money…unless automated!

Take the Mystery out of Reporting on Mystery Shopping

The empowered Mystery Shopper today will be equipped with a face-to-face (F2F) capture and analytics solution employing artificial intelligence (F2F.AI), truly taking the mystery out of the arduous task of Mystery Shopping.

An effective Mystery Shopper will not be the rare soul who can remember everything, but the one who is able to successfully check-off the endless tasks on their Mystery Shopping list, with professional skill and discretion.

Only then will service companies obtain the comprehensive, accurate and actionable insights, predictive analytics and operational data from the shop floor, enabling them to improve their service, sales and profitability.

With automated generation of playback, transcriptions, customer sentiment, key words, quantitative and qualitative analyses and so much more, service companies will get far greater ROI from Mystery Shoppers, along with the objective insights essential for CX management and strategic planning.

Mystery Shopping companies investing in innovation through face-to-face analytics technology will then be able to provide their service customers with precise and measurable value on which to base future decisions.

Such a tool is only offered today by Reveal. Visit to learn more.

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Reveal is an enterprise-grade, cloud-based SaaS platform that helps organizations capture essential data and produce relevant business insights from face-to-face (F2F) interactions, providing a comprehensive digital picture of business interactions and transactions.

For more information about Reveal or to schedule a demo, contact

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