Different Types of Mystery Shopping

By Paul Bell, Director of Business Development, on April 04, 2017

You can use mystery shopping to measure a variety of different aspects of your business. An effective mystery shopper program addresses your customer touchpoints and mirrors the way customers interact with your brand. Currently, there are four common types of mystery shopping:

  1. In-Person Mystery Shops
  2. Telephone Mystery Shops
  3. Internet Mystery Shops
  4. Multiple Touchpoint (Hybrid) Mystery Shops

(This blog is part one of a three-part series on improving customer experience with mystery shopping.)

  1.  In-Person Mystery Shops

The most common type of mystery shop is when a single shopper visits a location and assess performance based on pre-defined metrics set out by the business in question. Depending on the nature of the metrics, the purpose of the shop, as well as the type of industry, these shops can last anywhere from 10 minutes to hours to complete.

 In-person mystery shops are great for businesses where a shopper can present himself as a potential customer without causing any suspicion. The most common types of industries that use in-person mystery shops are:

 

  1. Telephone Mystery Shops

Telephone mystery shops are most common in call centre environments or in industries that interact with customers primarily over the phone - where the telephone is an integral part of the customer experience. They are typically conducted by single shoppers who call the business to evaluate the level of service and detail they receive over the phone.

Telephone mystery shops are common in the following industries:

  • Call Centers
  • Hotel
  • Travel
  • Tourism
  • Information Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Health Care

 

  1. Internet Mystery Shops

Internet mystery shops are conducted by a shopper who assesses how responsive a company is online, how easy their website is to navigate or how they interact with customers on social media. By evaluating websites, as well as customer service online, shoppers work from the comfort of their own home, while still providing valuable feedback to companies.

Internet mystery shops can be valuable and informative for any business with an online presence, but the most common industries are:

  • Travel
  • Telecommunications
  • Automotive
  • Real Estate
  • E-Commerce

 

  1. Multiple Touchpoint (Hybrid) Mystery Shops

Many larger companies require that multiple types of mystery shopping are conducted at their business in order to get an accurate representation of their customer experience. A lot of companies are interacting with their customers on a number of levels, and understand that providing stellar customer services means delivering at every touch point. Hybrid mystery shopping involves mystery shoppers following an entire customer journey - from the internet to the telephone to a live experience.

Depending on the nature and size of your business, many companies benefit from hybrid mystery shops, yet hybrid shops are most common in the following industries:

  • Banking
  • Travel
  • Health Care
  • Hotel
  • Real Estate
  • Automotive 

Continue exploring our Three-Part Mystery Shopping Series 

Back: What Is Mystery Shopping?  |  Next: The Mystery Shopping Process

Find out more about your customer experience. 
Explore IntouchShop mystery shopping programs.
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