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Global Marketing reading 4


Mystery shopping is a form of observation, which takes place with the participation of a disguised customer who collects
data and impressions about the service provider and its staff in a real situation (e.g. a visit to the company, a purchase or a
phone call to the customer service). By the method of disguised purchase, it is possible to get results and conclusions that
can effectively improve the procedure of handling customers thus enhancing customers’ satisfaction.

In the course of mystery shopping the interviewer visits the company in question or calls its customer service as a client.
Based on a pre-planned scenario they make a purchase or generate a problematic situation. After the mystery shopping the
customer (impersonator) record their experiences and opinions by filling in a questionnaire within 15 minutes. Mystery
shopping in the classical sense implies asking for information or problem solving at the point of sale or customer service;
however, sometimes it involves the actual purchase of the product or service. Complex mystery shopping is increasingly
popular with domestic service providers where their customer service is tested personally, on the phone and online as well.

Mystery Shopping can be used as the solution to a number of business issues. You might be:
• a franchisor wishing to ensure your franchisees are upholding your brand values
• a retailer who needs to know how well your outlets conform with your policies
• an insurer who wants to know what premiums your competitors are charging
• a financial services company ensuring advisors comply with regulations
• a business wanting to know how your competitors respond to enquiries
• an airline who wants to monitor flight attendant performance

We’ve pretended to be betting shops, scientists, installation engineers, bikers, students, foreign doctors, hairdressers,
plumbers, dentists, caravanners and every flavour of small business. We even have our own dummy businesses with
We’ve set up plumbing blockages and car faults. We’ve cheated in exams (to check the invigilators are alert), parked
illegally (to test the council’s parking wardens), shoplifted (to check the security systems) and gone on timeshare holidays.
We’ve parked bicycles to see how quickly they get stolen (quickest was 75 minutes – in Croydon).
We’ve been pregnant, bankrupt, hard-of-hearing, teenagers looking for contraception, pensioners buying insurance and
trainee teachers. We’ve recruited Chinese gamblers, housing tenants, disabled mystery shoppers and males to take the last
dance at a lap-dancing club.
Match the meanings below with a corresponding phrase in the text.
1. a company who allows its partners to use their brand and logo
2. a given company
3. a way of doing sg
4. according to the traditional definition
5. during
6. feelings and thoughts about sg
7. following a previously invented script
8. hidden
9. how high is the insurance fee that the other companies demand
10. how the other companies handle questions from potential clients
11. several business-related matters
12. to be more and more liked by companies
13. to deal with
14. to follow, to be in accordance with1
15. to follow, to be in accordance with2
16. to improve
17. to keep up your company values
18. to write down what they saw and heard

Answer the questions