About twenty years ago, my father worked at a local development company that owned several local chain restaurants. On occasion, the owner of the company and my father would conduct "mystery shopper" evaluations of the company’s restaurants.
The "mystery shopper" methodology was pretty straightforward. You go to the restaurant and order a meal. Never was it announced to staff who you are or what you were doing, hence the mystery component.
During the meal, one would observe and take notes of the overall customer experience. For example, was the wait staff friendly and attentive? Were all the menu items available for purchase? If there were any issues, were they adequately resolved?
After visiting several restaurants, the owner and my father would compile all their notes to identify the positives and negatives. Then, recommendations would be sent out to the various locations for managers to address any issues of note.
Overall, the mystery shopper experience was integral in gaining favorable word of mouth for the restaurant chain—all in a world too early for Internet reviews.
If you don’t have one already, please consider setting up a mystery shopper program for your event. Ideally, your mystery shopper should NOT be you or someone on your staff. Look toward a trusted advisor or friend who has a track record of honest feedback. Why is that?
Because if you or a team member are working hard to execute a great event, it’s challenging to add more to your plate and stay objective. You’re going to get task saturated and probably miss something.
In every instance where mystery shopping client events, major customer experience issues have been identified and presented to clients. My goal is to be as fair and objective as possible. So, any issues of note are always backed up with customer feedback.
Mystery shopping is relatively simple to set up and will provide you and your team with some fantastic insight into your event.
Want to more event customer experience advice? Check out the articles below:
- A Negative Question to Create a Better Event
- Turn Your Event Into an Experience
- This Event Crashed & "Burned" ... Badly
- Why Well Planned Events Fail
- Do you know when their event experience starts?
- Sharing this critical cog with your event vendors