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Do You Or Don't You

Have You Ever Mystery-Shopped Your Business?

75% of you said no.

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Yes: 25%

  • We do this we all branches of our businesses. It is the best way to see things from the customer’s point of view. There are always ways to improve. — Jana McDaniel, First Saturday Lime, Okarche, OK
  • We first did it when we expanded to a second store. We had it done by someone in our industry who had years of experience. The results led us to expanding our training program for all staff, which led to a better overall customer experience. — Doug Staley, Pet Palace of New City, New City, NY
  • I had a customer secret-shop. She was not greeted because she was a regular. I have about five customer secret-shoppers, but I use one more frequently. I reward with a goody bag filled with new product. — Jennifer Flanagan, Nature’s Pet Market, Sherwood, OR
  • I utilize mystery shoppers often. Typically, I’ll ask a friend with pets to visit one of our stores that they haven’t shopped at before. I’ll give them $10 or $20 and ask them to go buy something for their pets. I don’t usually ask them to look for specific things, but afterwards, I’ll ask specific questions that let me know if our customer service training is being put into practice. — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • We had an outside firm mystery-shop us. We actually were right on the mark as far as customer service, friendliness and professionalism. — Bob Howard, DogWatch of Upstate NY, Otego, NY
  • It has been awhile, but I asked on the HOA Facebook page for people who had never been to our store. They had to do a phone-call shop and in-person. Then we met roundtable-style and discussed and they got a gift card to the store for participating. It was great feedback! — Molly Taylor, Molly’s Mutt House, Houston, TX
  • We used to advertise on the radio and they did this as part of “the package.” It was informative, as one of our team we felt was always exceptional … was not so exceptional to our secret shopper. This helped our team realize that every single interaction with customers matters! — Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls, SD
  • I found out our staff is amazing. I ask other business owners to mystery-shop my stores when they are visiting me. I always get told how helpful our staff is, and most of my business-owner friends leave my stores with ideas for their store. — Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Not intentionally. However, a number of years ago, two of my family members came in one evening after I had left and reluctantly told me after that the two staff members ignored them and carried on a personal conversation the entire time. I was appalled and immediately had stern conversations with both staff members about expectations and how they had let us down. Thankfully, their behavior improved, though neither is employed with us anymore. But perhaps with newer employees starting up it would be worth looking to start a mystery-shopper program. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • I often have friends call and ask basic questions, then tell staff how they did and provide more training if necessary. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • I had a friend my staff didn’t know shop the store heavily and ask a lot of questions. One employee did really well; one failed miserably and was found to be on her phone the whole time, which I don’t allow. Great opportunity to review our company policies. — Pattie Boden Zeller, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA

No: 75%

  • I would like to but haven’t. I think if I started seeing bad reviews or hearing things from customers I would. We do talk to customers about their service and how their experience was. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • I’ve always thought about it but never got around to it. — Toni Shelaske, Healthy Pet Products, Pittsburgh, PA
  • But we watch cameras to see how customers react and are greeted, etc. — Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store, Alexandria, VA
  • I was a professional mystery-shopper many years ago and have been a corporate retail manager receiving mystery-shopping reports. Social media these days fill that mystery-shopper void because now everyone is a mystery-shopper and can post their results for all the world to see. — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA

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