shop2.jpgProviding excellent customer service levels is vital for any successful business, particularly during economic downturns where customers have less disposable income so are more selective where they spend their money. It is well established that it is much more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

One of the key tools that has been available to large retail chains to allow them to evaluate and improve their customer service levels is mystery shopping (or secret shopping as it is sometimes referred to). Mystery shopping involves shoppers making undercover evaluations of the service levels they receive in-store and assigning the store with a score based on various aspects of performance. These evaluations can relate to such things as the tidiness of an outlet, point of sale compliance and the customer service level received at the till.

In essence mystery shopping allows you to achieve the following:

  • Increased customer satisfaction.
  • Increased repeat business.
  • Recognition of elements of your service levels that can be improved through training.
  • Recognition of how you are performing against competitors (should you wish to conduct competitor mystery shopping) and stay one step ahead of them.

Mystery shopping has traditionally only been considered an activity large retail groups should pursue. Usually due to cost efficiencies mystery shopping has been out of the reach of small retail outlets and chains. All this is about to change however, as IMS are currently developing a service that will enable smaller retailers to benefit from mystery shopping, without heavily impacting upon their budget.

This new service will allow retailers of any size (whether they have one store or fifty) to utilise mystery shopping services to evaluate their customer service levels. Mystery shopping campaigns can be booked online by following a simple online booking process. Payments can be made via credit card and visits will be completed within 3 days of ordering, whilst results will be e-mailed out to all nominated recipients upon the completion of each visit.

If you believe that your business would benefit from mystery shopping and would like to receive more information on how our new mystery shopping service can improve your performance and increase your bottom line profit then please visit

IMS Field Marketing Limited
Tel: 0870 701 0866

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