group working together

What’s stopping you?

You’ve considered mystery shopping. You’ve explored your questions. You know you can’t do it on your own. So it’s time to take the first step.

Here’s a foolproof guide to implementing mystery shopping into your business.

  • Select a mystery shopping company

Most businesses travel one of two routes in choosing their mystery shopping company: searching the Mystery Shopping Providers of North America site ( or consulting the Better Business Bureau ( We suggest doing both. By comparing the advice of each organization, you’ll find a mystery shopping partner that values quality, excels in communication, and practices what they preach in customer service.

  • Talk budget

When you first discuss your needs with your mystery shopping provider, be sure to determine a clear budget. Remember, mystery shopping has cost-saving benefits such as getting training insights and receiving customer satisfaction feedback. In this sense, mystery shopping is an investment in your team and your customers, not an expense. And, with the right partner, it’s easier than you think!

  • Set your scoring criteria

Next, you’ll work with a dedicated account manager from your mystery shopping provider to create strategic scoring criteria. After all, when you’re sending mystery shoppers out into the field, you want to be sure you’ve clearly defined what they’re evaluating. These criteria should match the training you’ve provided to employees or required regulations for your industry. Your account manager can help you make smart decisions about what competitive and compliance data to collect…and how.

  • Determine shopping locations

Around the same time you’re creating scoring criteria, you’ll also be choosing shopping locations. Select the locations you’d like to have shopped based on factors like sales figures, recent training, and location promotions. Or, start an ongoing shopping evaluation program to incentivize a workplace team.

Then, it’s show time. Shoppers will visit your selected locations and report what they found during the visit. Sometimes they will even visit with a hidden camera!

It’s really that easy, when you find the right partner.

Next week, we’ll look at your post-shopping path. Don’t miss a tip for your business—subscribe to our blog today!

UPDATE 5-4-2016: Part two posted here