Mystery Shopping

Through coordinated programmes of in-person visits to our clients’ customer facing facilities and sites, as well as telephone, email and online interactions – we deploy hand-picked Mystery Shoppers to measure service at the frontline. We work in any industry sector and have extensive experience within Retail, Leisure and Financial Services.

Our Mystery Shoppers are well-briefed in each client’s specific standards, guidelines, language and service culture. Their mission is to capture real insight into each customer experience, how service quality is being delivered and maintained, how regulation is being complied with or gather specific information about products/promotions. And because they’re Mystery Shoppers, of course, their identity and purpose aren’t revealed to any establishment or staff member, and our teams are highly trained in ensuring they remain ‘mystery’!

Types of Mystery Shopping

We work with each one of our clients to build a Mystery Shopping programme that meets their core business objectives.

However, broadly there are three types of Mystery Shopping programmes.

Compliance Mystery Shopping
These programmes are often used by our clients in the Financial Services and Automotive industries, helping to ensure frontline teams are aligned to regulatory standards. Due to strict measurement, these programmes often involve our in-house Tech Team developing bespoke, secure and interactive compliance grading sites, and the use (and transcription) of material from sophisticated audio/visual recording systems.
Operational Mystery Shopping
Our dedicated teams of Mystery Shoppers evaluate the frontline of our client’s organisation. Our complete operational Mystery Shopping programmes are designed to engage, test and support the entire frontline of our clients’ business to ensure service quality, engagement with standards and behaviour, and culture change programmes are being fulfilled.
Promotional Mystery Shopping
Our Mystery Shoppers are focused on the specific compliance around a product or service. We deliver full promotional Mystery Shopping programmes designed to ensure that brand compliance and specific promotions are being followed to the letter.

What does ABa Mystery Shopping deliver?

It tells you what’s really happening, in your frontline environments, and measures employee performance against an agreed framework. It’s designed for frontline staff engagement to help you achieve one of the hardest tasks in CX – culture change – as well as service improvement.

Methods of Mystery Shopping

We call upon our network of ABa approved Mystery Shoppers who share in our passion to improve service and drive consistency in the customer experience. We deliver mystery shopping through five key channels or mediums.

Face to face Mystery Shopping
Face to face
We have our own pool of Mystery Shoppers throughout the UK and make best use of our trusted partners within the MSPA to extend our reach across the globe. The exceptionally high levels of communication we have with our Mystery Shoppers pays dividends in the delivery of clean data and detailed commentary to help every end user understand and improve the customer experience.
Online Mystery Shopping
We deploy our network of ABa Mystery Shoppers to evaluate online user experiences across every industry sector. Our bespoke questionnaires are designed to understand the details of user experiences to a precise degree. This allows us to measure performance and service, and drive improvement, in website usability, navigation, ease of use, information accuracy, as well as order fulfilment, delivery and returns.
Web Chat Mystery Shopping
Web Chat

Evaluation of telephone, web chat, email and social media customer contacts. Our fantastic Tech Team continuously modify, design and innovate to give us the most up to date methods for capturing, evaluating and reporting on service standards. We build each programme to best fit the individual make-up of our clients’ Contact Centre, utilising tools that we have specifically built for the job.

  • In house recording booths
  • Remote dial in and recording facility, allowing ABa Mystery Shoppers to complete calls from anywhere within the UK (and abroad)
  • Remote dial in and auto record of real customer calls (in line with Data Protection Act 2018)
  • Two way recording for both outgoing and incoming calls, including call backs
Video Mystery Shopping

Using industry approved equipment, our Specialist Video Mystery Shoppers deliver high quality covert video recordings. Footage is reviewed, edited and published via bespoke web portals, which can host an array of different features to enhance usability, such as

  • Compliance grading sites
  • Playlist creation to facilitate feedback and coaching
  • Add custom markers for easy identification of highlights within the interaction
Audio Mystery Shopping

We have a suite of discreet audio recording devices that we make available to our UK wide Mystery Customer network. Audio recording is a great alternative to using video – it’s cheaper, but still allows you to capture verbatim what was said during the customer interaction.

Each recording can be shared via a custom-built web portal and be published alongside a complementary Mystery Customer report or a full word for word transcription. To make it easier for everyone, we’ve even built an interactive transcription to audio link, allowing end users to click on a word and be taken to the corresponding part of the recording.

Why is ABa different?

For a start, we’ve been doing Mystery Shopping for more than 30 years – so we know better than most what works and what doesn’t.

Where most organisations use large teams, we (typically choose to) use smaller teams of people carefully selected for their skills and experience and fit with the client’s demographics where needed. Just as we work in partnership with our clients, we work very closely with our Mystery Shoppers to ensure real consistency of behaviour, evaluation and alignment with clients’ standards. This is often missed out by others who use larger teams of less highly trained people. While we offer all types of Mystery Shopping, we specialise in designing complete programmes that don’t just measure performance, but actively help frontline teams to deliver.

And, we complete every planned visit on time! (It sounds obvious, but we know it often doesn’t happen.)