Mystery Shopping and Market Research

Mystery Shopping goes hand in hand with market research. Market research as it applies to mystery shopping is defined as the examination of the whims and behavioral preferences of consumers and how these preferences affect business.

The reason market research is so important to mystery shopping is because mystery shopping is such a popular and important tool used in market research. Some of the largest employers of mystery shoppers are market research companies who have been hired to discover how everyday customers view a company’s services and products. Simply put, it is very common for mystery shoppers to work directly for a market research company rather than a specific business. Mystery shoppers conduct field research for market research companies who then use their feedback to report back to the client.

Mystery shopping reports offer comprehensive information on how consumers are reacting to different marketing campaigns, store designs, promotions, etc. Mystery shoppers are essentially the segue between consumers and business. In reporting their experiences they help businesses understand how efficiently they are presenting themselves and their products to customers. Mystery shoppers thus, are an important market research tool and often spark changes from businesses when reports reflect negatively on a specific aspect of the customer-business relationship.

Mystery shopping is a market research tool that is being used more and more. For example, a study conducted on hospitals showed that patient satisfaction played an important role in the distribution of salaries for administrators.

More so than in years past when patient satisfaction wasn’t a factor in determining salaries and administrators had less motivation to provide good customer service. By using mystery shoppers, these levels of satisfaction can be measured. It might mean that a mystery shopping report to a market research company could directly influence how a hospital communicates with its administrators about customer service. In essence mystery shopping, while an important tool for market research, is ultimately used to improve businesses for customers.

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