Prepping for a B2B Mystery Shop Project
(Take Nothing for Granted)
The best way to deal with an emergency is to prevent one from taking place by preparing for all possible contingencies.
In a B2B mystery shopping project the most vulnerable area is your team of mystery shoppers. Time invested in the recruitment, preparation of mystery shoppers is time devoted to prevention of unexpected situations that can ruin the project and worse, ruin the reputation of the vendor and the client company.
Prepping the Mystery Shoppers
The process of preparing mystery shoppers for a B2B project covers their recruitment, training, and debriefing.
- Ensure that shoppers know the industry or, better yet, actually work in the industry you are researching;
- The shoppers must fit the profile (job title, level of seniority, experience, etc.) of staff who would normally engage in the process of purchasing or greenlighting the product or service that is being researched;
- It would be beneficial for the shoppers to have had experience doing similar mystery shops in the past; and
- Compensation must be in accordance to the value of the effort/risks made by the shoppers and the importance of data being gathered.
- The shoppers need to be familiar with the list of questions that need to be answered, and to ensure that the shop has a natural flow from one topic to the next;
- It may be useful to prepare and rehearse answers to possible objections that the shoppers may confront so that they will respond calmly without losing their composure or focus; and
- In a B2B environment, it is likely that social media may be used to verify the identity of the shoppers. Accordingly, the shoppers must 1) be comfortable with having their social media profiles verified and 2) ensure that their profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook are up-to-date.
- Mystery shoppers should be prepared to undergo a briefing of their findings. This will focus not only on the information they gathered, but also any unexpected insights or behaviours they may have noticed during the shop. This can provide a more nuanced understanding of their experience.
- If necessary, the shoppers should be prepared to either do a follow-up mystery shop or make requests for further information.
This has been a fairly basic outline on the preparation of mystery shoppers for a B2B mystery shop.
I welcome any comments or questions on the topic.