If your organization is already looking into implementing a mystery shopper program, there are probably several different vendor options being explored by your team. While completing this due diligence is important, it can be challenging to know what are the right questions to ask when submitting a request for proposal (RFP). Asking the right questions can give your brand leadership more confidence that they are working with the right vendor, so that you can then provide an industry leading Customer Experience.
The first category to consider when crafting a mystery shopping RFP is organizational experience. While it is acceptable in some situations, most brands do not want to be the pilot program of a relatively new mystery shopping vendor. Ask exploratory questions about the organization’s longevity, experience, client roster and market share to get a better understanding of how each vendor you are researching operates. If a brand is unable to properly and concisely provide this information, there is a likelihood that they are avoiding answering because they know your team will not like their response. Be direct with your questioning, and look for vendors with a diverse range of clients and a documented vault of assignment experience.
Another important aspect to consider when crafting a mystery shopping RFP is data security. Customer Experience measurement is built on the ability to collect, measure and analyze data, but if there is not guaranteed security, then his data could potentially be tarnished. Data security is especially important to mystery shopping programs because the information provided is useless without a guarantee that it is unbiased. To ensure a successful partnership, be clear from the get-go about your data security priorities in the proposal.
Beyond data security and organizational biographies, it is important to find a vendor that is able to match your brand’s needs financially. Too often, mystery shopping vendors will stretch themselves too thin, meaning that they may have to reach out to additional partners to complete the necessary aspects of a mystery shopping program. The best practice is to find an organization that has the financial capacity to complete all aspects of the mystery shopping program process in house, ranging from assignment design to quality assurance. An organization’s financial background can offer your brand a glimpse into their ability to provide these services.
After requesting all this knowledge, the final step of your mystery shopping RFP is to get a clear understanding of the necessary financial commitment. These programs can be expensive, but ultimately it is important to get a concrete understanding of what your brand’s money is paying for. Ask for an item-by-item checklist and the corresponding price so you can make the most out of your commitment.
Mystery shopping is an important step for any brand hoping to improve their Customer Experience. These programs help brands uncover an outside-in and unbiased perspective of how customers are experiencing their product or service. When your brand is searching for a mystery shopping vendor, make sure to add all these qualifications to the proposal, so you can have an accurate understanding of who you are entering business with.
Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.
We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.