B2B Mystery Shops Simplified to Deliver Insights and Recommendations
(Confronting reality in the high-stakes world of B2B Mystery Shops)
In the Trenches
B2B mystery shops are not for the faint of heart.
Recruiting and training the right shopper. Guiding them through the intricacies of the shop. Debriefing the mystery shoppers. Collecting collateral material. It takes a special kind of character to handle these assignments.
Then comes the task of analyzing the data and presenting insights in a clear and concise report.
You can do impeccable work and still run the risk of leaving the client dissatisfied.
Why Conduct B2B Mystery Shops?
Many companies wish to conduct B2B mystery shops because there exists a competitor that seems to “follow them around” or always seems to “be there” whenever they are bidding for a corporate contract. The competitor in question seems to win the contracts quite often and the client company has been losing significant amounts of money through lost sales.
The client company wants to find out what makes the competitor so successful. What they really want, in fact, is to uncover competitor weaknesses to exploit. They are not so keen to find weaknesses in their own offering. They don’t want any evidence that may challenge their corporate self-image.
Regardless of what the client is looking for the researcher must maintain professional integrity without compromise.
The researcher’s obligation is to provide observations and insights derived from the fieldwork, which includes mystery shopper debriefings, sales and marketing collateral, and audio and visual recordings. The researcher may also provide options on how to deal with the competitive challenge.
The researcher’s job is not to get involved in corporate politics.
Ultimately, the corporate client will be responsible for using the research findings to counter the competitor – or not. This is out of the hands of the researcher.
© Enrico Codogno, 8 April 2019