Business owners in every industry are always innovating and trying to figure out their best practices, as well as their weaknesses and how to improve upon them. All companies have a goal to deliver exceptional service to their customers, as this is the best investment a company can make towards their success. A badly performing business or one with a very inefficient management system is usually doomed to fail unless they step up their game and become competitive with their service. 

To understand what buyers want to see from a business, especially a retail one, a business must put themselves in the shopper’s shoes. This can be tough to do if you ask those who step into your store and buy explicitly what they like or didn’t like, because they may feel intimidated and give a different answer. The solution many big businesses employ is the services of professionals called secret or mystery shoppers. 

These mystery buyers go into retail stores and other physical offices to test the integrity of their management and processes, then compile information and report to the company owner. Here are some ways to ensure that you get the most out of your mystery shopping program:

Set a measurement standard

Companies usually set guidelines and standards that are to be complied with by the staff, which are taught using training programs. Using one of these to determine how well the staff are performing will make it easier to determine the best practices of the business. It will look at how well staff conforms to brand standards, service efficiency, sales boosts, and risk management. 

Keep brand standards in the picture when designing a questionnaire

Brand standards are supposed to be aligned to overall business performance, which is easiest measured through mystery shopping programs. Using these, you can benchmark performance through retention and referrals of your brand. Create a questionnaire that is objective to reveal informational gaps, brand pitfalls, and potential improvement areas. 

Utilize best practices as parameters for data gathering and reporting

When it comes to setting standards for analysis, always put your best standards as the benchmark, and see how well your company meets these, or if they fail to meet them. This way, you will be able to figure out how to continue to improve, and it will improve the data collection by setting a standard for measuring success. Additionally, it is best to employ different secret shopper agents to ensure data integrity and fewer biases or slip-ups. 

Combine the data found with data from real shoppers

At the end of the day, mystery shoppers are still not exactly real, paying customers. Having a survey for real customers will show a variety of data, and perhaps give more insights on practices that could be done better. Utilize both types of data to build better customer satisfaction and help your business grow. 

Construct a plan of further actions

Once you have collected enough data and found the practices that generate the highest returns of investments, it is time to craft a plan to further improve service or innovate new practices. This will assist in creating a better environment for customers to be in, and further improve the integrity of your business. 


Businesses will always have different best practices and things to improve on. There is no one-size-fits-all plan of action to grow a business. Because of this, hiring the service of a mystery shopping agency will help you garner the numbers for data science and assist you in creating a plan of action for your company’s next moves. 

JM Ridgeway is the best organization to contact when it comes to hiring a mystery shopper and improving customer retention for your business. Look no further than with our agency for top-tier management reporting that has been tried and tested for over 95 years of generational specialization.

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