Mystery Shopping Reveals Key Questions Are Overlooked


A UK study recently released looked at independent optometrists’ best practices utilizing a mystery shopping program. Earlier this year, 40 “independents” were evaluated by shoppers, who were in the market for an eye exam. The study looked at key standard practices to see how each of the “independents” performed.


While generally yielding good results, some key takeaways showed that some of the most basic items were not consistently played out:


  • 25% of the mystery shoppers were not asked about lifestyle and hobbies, which can lend to a specific lens type, or even contacts, being offered. Without knowing this, it is possible the best recommendation cannot be offered.

  • 50% of shoppers were not told about certain options, such as tinted lenses or coatings

  • Approximately 66% of shoppers were not offered contacts as an option


The results shed some light on best practices, and as it was summed up, “‘It shows quite clearly that even the best independents have room for improvement,’ said PTR co-director Nick Atkins. ‘If you’re a mountain biker, for example, you need the most appropriate eyewear to ride your mountain bike.’”


They plan on repeating the study next year, and will likely do it on a consistent basis. This is a great case study that drives home the importance of conducting a regular mystery shopping program, not only to ensure staff are performing consistently strong across locations, but to look for potential red flags that may be compromising the customer experience.


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