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5 Ways to Mystery Shop B2B

B2B Mystery Shopping To Improve Your Business

A bit more complicated than typical mystery shopping, but definitely beneficial.

Traditional mystery shopping in the business-to-consumer (B2C) model is pretty straight-forward. Mystery shoppers are sent in to a business or retail location with specific tasks and questions to answer about their experience.

Business-to-business (B2B) mystery shopping works in the same manner, with the one exception being that customers, or mystery shoppers, will pose as companies or customers calling to inquire about your services and products.

B2B mystery shopping is one way you can make sure you stay focused on delivering great customer experiences every time and also allows your business to determine baselines and pinpoint areas for improvement. You can evaluate staff performance, review processes and procedures, and ensure your brand reputation is solid.

Understanding your customer’s journey in a B2B environment takes a little more creativity. Here are a few ideas on how to approach being a mystery shopper of your own B2B organization.

1. Evaluate the Call Process.

Find out what it’s like to call in as an actual customer and ask questions: What is it you do? What types of products/services do you offer? What happens if I have a problem/issue arise? What is your return policy? (if applicable)
It’s amazing how many inbound sales departments are totally unprepared for this line of questions. And you can experience what it feels like to be an actual customer.

This also gives insight into whether your employees are upselling/cross-selling other products or services offered by your company that may be important to the customer.

2. Use the web contact form to inquire about products or services.

Is the form easy to fill out? Does it cover the pertinent information? How quickly do you hear from someone? Is the form confirmation written in a robot voice? Lots of areas to consider here!

3. Ask typical questions of the sales person.

You probably know what questions get asked the most, so go ahead and ask them. Email the salesperson back and ask random questions. Ask what happens if you want to add a service in the middle of the contract. Ask about price. Ask the difficult questions salespeople hate and see what happens.

4. Sign up for the free product trial.

If a trial is typically offered, go for it. See what it’s like to sign up, use the product, call support and then either end the trial or not. Pay attention to how many emails and calls you get. Pay attention to if the product trial lives up to the marketing hype.

5. Ask other customers.

Check out forums or communities and ask about others’ experiences. Pay attention to what they say doesn’t work. Or call a few current customers and ask them. What’s working? What’s not? Tell me what can be improved and what works well.

The best way to get a truly outside-in perspective, however, is to ask someone from the outside to do it. You’ll get honest feedback and find holes in your process easy to ignore on the outside. But any form of mystery shopping is better than none. Take a step and examine what experience you’re really delivering to your business customers.

mystery shopping

​Furthermore, fictitious accounts and companies can be created to pose as current customers to evaluate the service ordering process. From here, you can see if your employees are attempting to upsell/cross sell, offering additional products/services that are important to your customers, and the general service levels provided.


Spot Checks – A New Form of Mystery Shopping


SpotCheck logo 2016


Mystery shopping just got easier!


We are pleased to introduce our new Spot Check Mystery Shopping Program – it’s a mobile based, simplistic approach to mystery shopping.


We understand that each company’s needs are different, and we have heard requests for simpler programs for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to start a discovery program for those who have not used mystery shopping in some time (or ever) and want to see where they are on the most basic service points or if it’s a company that’s rolling out a new product or promotion and want to make sure all locations adhere to the marketing/presentation/talking points set forth.
We also understand that companies are pressed for time – starting a customized, more complex program takes time, and sometimes companies need quick data.


Spot Check Mystery shops serve both purposes – you can order shops on our self-serve portal and get started with no effort on your part. Your locations will be evaluated using a basic, standard evaluation form and shoppers will be deployed. From there, you and key company members will receive email notifications as shops are completed.


Take a look at our newest service offering or start a program to see how it works! There is no commitment on your part – order shops as needed or request that they happen on a regular basis.


Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about the Spot Check Mystery Shopping Program – we’re always happy to help!



Plant a Shopper, Watch Your Business Grow


This was a tag line we’ve used to roll out our Plant a Shopper program, which we started a few years back. This is a great program to use in banks, park districts, fitness centers, and similar industries.


At its most basic level, you can “plant” a shopper into your customer base where they remain for a period of time. During this time, they will act as a normal customer and evaluate various touchpoints of your business. At the end of the period of time, they will provide a more thorough, overall summary of their experience.


Let’s look at a couple of examples to see how this plays out:


* Banking: we would start with a non-customer who will visit a branch to say they’d like information on opening a checking account. This first visit evaluates the experience as a potential customer and how smoothly the account opening process goes. They will keep the account open for a period of time during which they will make transactions both inside the branch and at the drive thru, and perhaps call the customer service line to resolve issues. They may even track if promotional calls or emails are utilized and how this is perceived as a customer. Finally, at the end of their timeframe, they will talk with a Personal Banker and explain that they’d like to close the account to see how it is handled. Does the baker attempt to ‘save’ the account or simply start the closing process?


* Park Districts: many park districts would like to evaluate their instructions or guest presenters at various events. However, sending in a shopper once or even twice during a class schedule may not be enough to get a true picture. Shoppers will start by registering for the class or program to see how it is handled, actually take the class, and at the end provide a full summary regarding their experience.


* Fitness centers: some facilities have a reputation for providing misleading information when customers join, and others are known for making it all but impossible to cancel your membership. Find out exactly what your company is saying and doing to gain new customers and retain them. Shoppers can go in as a potential customer to get information, then not make a committment at that point, but do so if follow up is done. From there, they can be members for a short period of time, and, like a bank evaluation, go into the facility to say they would like to end their membership to see how it is handled.


This is a great program to use when you’d like to see the full lifecycle of a customer. It can give you insight into areas that may need improvement, and may even help tweak your traditional mystery shopping programming, as you could find that what you’re measuring may be fine, but there are areas you haven’t considered in the past that are “falling through the cracks” and need to be addressed.


At any rate, mystery shopping has evolved into a flexible method of covertly evaluating businesses through the eyes of a customer. Utilizing a Plant a Shopper evaluation is just another way to view your service levels.