What is good mystery shopping practice?
|Posted: 22nd Jun 2012 - 15:59 Quote|
Solution = explain that you charge for proposals.
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|Posted: 22nd Jun 2012 - 16:09 Quote|
I am with Steve on this, not sure what you are saying is a mystery shopper. I do some work from time to time for mystery shopping co's so I do know how they work.
I have never been in a situation where the company does not know that at somepoint in some time period a potential customer is going to be a mystery shopper. They know it is going to happen during a period of time but not who and exactly when. From the ones I have worked on, I have never had to ask for proposals or set times frames etc... so not sure that is accepted practice?
Exactly who would be mystery shopping you anyway? Are you a large company who needs to make sure they have the quality throughout the business? Part of a franchise? Part of some institute that do this sort of thing to test the quality of their members? (that sounds wrong and maybe should be in the 18+ section).
Put it down to market research being done by a potential competitor or who knows they may be a potential customer? More than likely the scenario they gave was something they have been asked for by one of their potential clients and they have not done that before, they get the proposal from you and then copy it to send on to their client.... They could then be trying to deliver your proposal or they could be coming back to you for you to do the work? Who knows?
Don't put too much effort into worrying about this, it is going to happen a lot. Anyone in any creative area is always going to come across this sort of thing. Initial proposal, keep it brief and spend less time on it. Then follow up, if you get responses then you can look at a more in depth proposal. Might be time to look at your own processes and how you spend your time?
Very much doubt it was mystery shopper, who is going to pay someone for going to random businesses and mystery shopping them?
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|Posted: 22nd Jun 2012 - 16:15 Quote|
We get called by competitors on our Parksure scheme. Irritating but a fact of life.
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|Posted: 22nd Jun 2012 - 16:21 Quote|
Thanks for the heads up tweet Gareth.
Not sure i'm the most appropriate person to be holding the moral compass on this one but i'll give it a go...
Ultimately it comes down to who commissioned the mystery shopper. We can be hired by a wide variety of sources: product suppliers, governing bodies, quality standards, trading standards, awards organisations and competitors. To name just a few.
Competitors is always going to be the most controversial one. You are essentially wasting peoples time, and whilst there is no law against it that doesn't necessarily justify it. I totally get the annoyance of the subject. But it is a widely used practise. Have seen a lot of business try and make themselves 'mystery shopper proof' it only ever works to the detriment of their normal customers. The person you assume is a mystery shopper most of the time isn't!
Best possible spin is that it sharpens your sales skills up.
For me in this scenario best practice as the mystery shopper provider would be: Keep it simple / brief, no sharing explicitly confidential information (you're off into white collar crime terriotry there), keep everything as close to the truth as you can, don't raise the hopes of the subject, if at all possible kill the lead off soon afterwards (don't leave people hanging).
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