Mystery shopping is a research method that evaluates various aspects of business. The mystery shopper program is aimed at assessing the service, as well as checking various touch points between customers and business, and at demonstrating their interaction with the brand.

Today, there are several types of mystery shopping:
 – mystery shopping visits to various establishments;
–  telephone mystery shopping;
–  mystery shopping for online stores;
–  mixed type of mystery shopping.

Mystery shopping visits.
The most common type of mystery shopping is a mystery visit, which is a visit to chosen establishment conducted by mystery shopper for the purpose of checking the service quality. The shopper visits the establishment, evaluating its performance on the basis of pre-designed criteria and indicators set by the business.
Secret visit can last from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the type of indicators, mystery shopping purpose,  or the type of evaluated sphere.

Mystery shopping visits are the most suitable for those companies where a mystery shopper can visit the establishment under the guise of an ordinary client, without causing any suspicion from the staff. The list of industries, for which mystery shopping is a useful and effective tool for improving the service quality, is large. The most common areas where mystery shopping is used are: Retail, Restaurant business, Petrol stations, Banking, Healthcare, Fitness, Hotels, Automotive sphere.

Telephone mystery shopping.
This type of mystery shopping checks could be useful for companies where call centers are widely used, as well as industries that provide services to customers mostly by phone. Those areas where telephone conversations with customers are an integral and important part of service also need regular assessment and maintenance of high-quality.

This type of checks is conducted by mystery shopper who calls the company to assess the level of service and all the performance details. During the call, secret shopper can check how easy it is to call the company, how long it takes to answer the call, employee’s greeting, his competence, skills in talking with the client, and if he or she is able to solve client’s problem during the conversation.
Mystery shopping via phone is most common in the following spheres: Call centers, Hotel business, Travel, Information Technology, Communication, Consulting, Insurance, Healthcare.

Checking online stores.
With the development of e-commerce and e-business, mystery shopping for online stores has reached the same level of importance as for establishments. Due to online mystery shopping, the online stores owner can easily assess the quality of provided service at all stages of customer interaction with the store.

Mystery shopper checks how quickly the company reacts to the requests, how competent the employees are in the goods and services provided by the company, how they interact with customers through social networks or websites. At the same time, secret shopper can also evaluate the convenience of using website (navigation, information about goods or services, product range).
This type of mystery shopping provides valuable feedback for the company through the eyes of an ordinary customer.

Spheres of use: e-commerce, Travel, Insurance, Automotive, Real estate, Telecommunications.

Mixed type of mystery shopping evaluation.
Some large companies need several different types of mystery shopping checks. Since their business needs to get the most accurate representation of their clients’ experience.
Such companies provide services to their clients in various ways, so they understand that to provide a 5-star service, it is necessary to maintain high quality at all stages of client’s interaction with their business.

Mixed types of mystery shopping constitute a complex evaluation of company by the shopper – from a visit to establishment to calling the company.

The use of mixed mystery shopping depends on sphere and size of business, but this type is the most common in the following spheres:Banking, Travel, Hotels, Healthcare, Automotive, Real estate.

As you can see, mystery shopping can be different and interesting for different audiences. This activity is profitable and useful for everyone. You just need to choose what you are most interested in or try a new type of checks each time. To become a mystery shopper and begin comprehending the mystery shopping world.