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Practical Application: Creating Retail Assessments & Mystery Shopper Programs

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Use this fictional scenario as a basis to practice creating a retail assessment that can be used internally as well as externally via a mystery shopper program. Questions are included to guide the process.

Mystery Shopper Programs

As discussed in the lesson Developing Retail Assessments & Mystery Shopper Programs, many stores have a mystery shopper program. These are programs where pretend customers come to test out the store and its employees. Some test the quality of service at a store while others test the form and function of a store. Some companies create their own internal mystery shopper program while other companies hire a third party to handle the mystery shopper program.

Mystery shopper programs are popular because mystery shoppers can tell store owners just how well employees are providing customer service and whether or not the organization and layout of the store helps to increase purchases or not. Using mystery shoppers shows the type of service employees provide on their own without any direct supervision.

The Scenario

Imagine that you are the owner of a small craft store. You want to know how well your employees are doing when you aren't there to supervise. You also want to make sure that the experience you envision for your customers is truly the experience they receive. You want visitors and customers alike to feel welcome, cozy, and creative in the store. To accomplish this, you set up a mystery shopper program. As part of this program, you need to develop a retail assessment that targets the important areas of concern that you have so that your mystery shoppers will test those areas. What do you need to include in this retail assessment so it will give you the answers you need?

Analysis Questions

First, come up with some general questions to help you figure out what kind of information is needed in the retail assessment.

  • What do employees need to do to make visitors feel welcome?
  • How should employees treat customers to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere?
  • What can employees do to enhance the creativity of their 'crafty' customers?

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