(Secret) Shopping up a storm

Mystery guest service companies, such as Guestwho, are often asked to be “secret shoppers“. Like all our other mystery guest services, we would visit the particular store and pretend to be just another regular customer, and then report back to management about our experience, so that various weaknesses or problem areas can be identified and rectified.

Secret Shopper List of Great Ideas

Based on our experiences, we have prepared the list below, which is (admittedly) more appropriate for a smaller or boutique-style store, but many of these tips could be implemented in larger retail outlets, with a bit of tweaking –

  • greet and welcome a customer within 30 seconds of the customer entering the store;
  • offer assistance –  a simple “Is there any way that I may help you?” or “Are you looking for something in particular?” goes a long way;
  • do not judge a customer and proceed to then treat them according to such assessment (think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman);
  • if a customer has picked up an item and is holding it in their hand, offer them a basket or offer to hold the item at the till/checkout point;
  • if the customer is engaging with you, offer some suggestions;
  • at the till/checkout, ask if the customer has found everything that they were looking for;
  • ask if any of the items are gifts and offer gift-wrapping (if this is something that your store offers complimentary, which we think is always a good idea);
  • consider purchasing software that allows you to record customer’s details and purchase history – this will assist you in getting to know your customers and targeting new campaigns at specific individuals;
  • if your store packaging uses tissue paper, spray the tissue paper with a fragrance (that is different to the one purchased by the customer – this way you can introduce customers to other fragrances and ranges);
  • if a manager needs to be called at any stage, the manager should greet the customer, introduce themselves and apologize for whatever the issue is (whilst simultaneously fixing it!);
  • if the customer is paying by card (or if you have a loyalty programme that lets you identify the customer’s name), thank them formally, using their surname (eg Thank you Ms Bigspender, thank you Mr Moneypants);
  • when handing over the purchased items, preferably walk around the till/checkout and hand the items directly to the customer.


Guestwho loves shopping in New York!

Guestwho loves shopping in New York!