Bosses getting involved in mystery shopping

Many firms have been using mystery shopping companies for a long time now. Such tactics provide an effective way for managers to gain insight into how well their businesses are performing from a front-line, customer service perspective. This can be hard to achieve in other ways. Techniques like this are often combined with customer satisfaction surveys and so on to help enterprises improve their operating techniques.

Meanwhile, some bosses are taking this even further and are heading undercover themselves to get a better understanding of how their organisations function.

Marketing Week notes that Channel 4 TV series Undercover Boss has drawn attention to the mystery shopping techniques being employed by senior managers. In the programme, bosses spend two weeks working with frontline staff.

One of those to appear on the show was deputy managing director of Ann Summers Vanessa Gold. She revealed that by going undercover and hitting the shop floor, she realised exactly how knowledgeable and therefore valuable her staff members were.

She stated: “There is a very close relationship between our store teams and our customers. But we were failing to tap into what our teams know and using that information in some of our decision-making.”

When asked what going undercover revealed, she added: “I visit many of our shops and they tell me what they think and what could change. But this was truly an opportunity to get to know the teams and customers.”

Ms Gold added that she found out customers did not think the brand was “sexy enough” anymore. About this, she remarked: “It was great to be able to go back to head office and say ‘we’ve got permission, from stores and from customers, to be sexy in the way we talk to our customer, plan our windows and in our product’.”

Customer satisfaction research of all kinds, whether it involves mystery shopping companies, customer satisfaction surveys or anything else requires some expenditure, but it can be well worth firms’ while investing in such provisions.

The Article is written by providing Customer Research and Retail Customer Service. Visit for more information on Products and Services___________________________Copyright information This article is free for reproduction but must be reproduced in its entirety, including live links and this copyright statement must be included. Visit for more services!

Leave a Comment