Mystery shopping got its start almost a century ago when trained "secret shoppers" were used to anonymously evaluate a business' operation. It was started by private investigators who secretly monitored a business for employee theft. The industry has evolved, as have the names used to describe it: secret shopping, performance monitoring or even customer research.
As it matured, customer service dependent industries - such as restaurant, hospitality and retail - realized that employee theft was just the tip of the iceberg on the types of actionable intelligence that mystery shopping could provide to drive business growth.
Mystery shopping soon became known in selected business sectors for its ability to deliver critical business intelligence with reasonable costs and attractive turnaround times.
As the customer has become more powerful, ever more diverse business sectors, such as Real Estate, Construction, Banking and Health Care are achieving attractive gains by applying the actionable intelligence that mystery shopping delivers to improve their internal operations. Benefits include:
Today, a wide variety of businesses use and value mystery shopping as a means to obtain the critical intelligence they need to keep their customers satisfied and loyal, grow their top and bottom line and manage risk.
Mystery shopping has come along way from secret shopper reporting on employee theft to its current widespread use in broad business applications.