Mystery shopping investigation: What, when and how?

At one point or another, we all must have wondered about the term “success”. What makes someone highly successful and others not so much? Is it natural talent, skills developed by an individual, competitive spirit, hard work, dedication towards the achievement of goal or a healthy combination of all these factors?

Whatever it is, one thing is certain. Reaching a high position in life is not the only thing which is important. What matters the most is maintaining that position for a long period of time because that’s where the true challenge begins. When we take a deep look at this concept, we can see that surviving in today’s corporate world is very similar to this notion. Extreme competition and pressure to be better in every aspect are some of the major features of this corporate world and to survive here, one has to constantly monitor and regulate the working conditions of their organisation. Business organisations need continuous management and control to sustain their position in the industry.

Let’s have a look at the following example to learn more about this.

Suppose, there is a fancy footwear store dealing in both male as well as female footwear and has recently introduced Kids section too. Not only that, some new staff members have also been hired in this store for looking after the three main footwear sections. At this point, you must be thinking that where is any problem in this situation? So, let’s move further and have a look into the actual cause of concern in this example.

This footwear store has made some significant changes in its operation by hiring fresh employees and by introducing new varieties of footwear but after some months, it has been suffering losses & getting negative response from the customers. People are not as happy with the store as they used to be before and the reason for such a change in the attitude of the customers is still a mystery to the store owner. Now, on looking at this example we can say that there can be many factors which may be affecting the store. There may be something wrong with the service provided by the staff members or quality of the footwear may not be up to the mark or footwear sold at the store may be overpriced. The reason for downfall in the sales can be anything!!! That’s what makes this scenario even more confusing. So, how can the store owner get to know the real reason behind this? Without knowing the actual reason for a defect, is it possible to correct it?

Don’t worry! we are not going to leave you alone with all these questions.

The answer to all these questions can be found under the main subject of this blog post – “MYSTERY SHOPPING

Let’s look at the concept of “Mystery shopping” under the sub-heads of what, when and how?

What is Mystery shopping?

This is the main question which arises here – What do we mean by Mystery shopping? And the answer to this question is very simple. Mystery shopping is a way of gathering information about the quality of goods and services from the customer’s point of view. Through mystery shopping, one can learn that how an organisation can be improved and get better than before in terms of quality and customer satisfaction. It is commonly used by restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, furniture stores, grocery stores, shopping malls and theatres etc. where providing good quality of customer service is considered as a core value of operation.

When is mystery shopping conducted?

While running a business, there are times when one wants to know about the performance of their business organisation in their absence so that drawbacks can be realized within time and effectively controlled. Through the evaluation of major areas in an organisation, one can know whether there are any weak points in their organisation and if some negative issues are found in that process, then necessary measure are taken to improve the situation. So, to answer the above mentioned question that “when is mystery shopping conducted?” we can say that it is conducted when a person wants to assess the quality of service and goods sold by his/her business organisation.

How is mystery shopping conducted?

Mystery shopping is conducted by marketing agencies, advertising agencies, mystery shopping service providers, private investigators etc.

In this process, a group of people are trained to pose as customers to visit the establishment to be evaluated. This particular group are called as “Mystery shopper” or “Secret shopper”. During their training, they are informed about the specific areas of the establishment which are to be thoroughly assessed to record their experience. Then, they visit the business establishment as told and make a careful observation about all the essential features like product display, product quality, service provided by the staff, amount charged on the products, compliance with the organisation’s rules and regulations etc. Then finally, after their visit they make a proper report on their experience as a customer and submit it to the owner of the business establishment (the one who has opted for this service). A certain amount of money is charged by these mystery shoppers for this service.

So, this was all about mystery shopping and how it is performed to evaluate a business organisation. Every business owner has a dream to conduct his/her business in a particular way but sometimes the actual product may not be equal to the vision and that’s where this service – “MYSTERY SHOPPING” comes into action. Through this service, you can identify the disparity and take steps to correct it accordingly.

City Intelligence Pvt. Ltd. is one of the prime investigation agencies of our time which is highly skilled and experienced in providing mystery shopping service. With an experience of more than two decades, we have created a reputation and a special name for ourselves in this private investigation industry. As a service provider, we understand that it is extremely important for an organisation to perform actions according to their vision for maintaining their position in the industry otherwise it would be complete chaos.

So, if you are in need of mystery shopping service… Contact City Intelligence.

Commonly Asked Questions About Mystery Shopping

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Mystery Shopping

Mystery shoppers in Delhi, India
Best Detective Agency With 7500+ Mystery Shoppers
  • QUESTION:-What exactly is involved in Mystery shopping?

CITY INTELLIGENCE:- If you are a retailer, hotelier, restaurateur, grocery store owner or own any kind of business and want to know answer to certain questions like: what is the experience of people who purchase from your business outlet or  whether rules and regulations are followed by your staff or ignored in your absence , then we have something, which might help you to get answers to these questions.

Yes, mystery shopping is a way to gather information about the operations of your business outlet. If you use this service from us, we will send some people disguised as “mystery shoppers” to your business outlet, who are trained to gather details regarding your product quality and service delivery in a discrete manner. Then, they will provide you a report regarding their overall experience in your business outlet which might help you to understand the workings of your business from a customer’s point of view and improve the faulty areas accordingly. It is not always about actual visit to the target location, sometimes mystery shoppers can gather information through telephonic conversation, if such kind of requirement is made by you.

mystery shopping agency

  • QUESTION:- How long does it takes to conduct mystery shopping investigation?

CITY  INTELLIGENCE:- It takes about a week to ten days to complete this kind of investigation successfully.

  • QUESTION:- How much does it costs, to obtain this service provided by you?

CITY  INTELLIGENCE:- It usually depends upon the location where the investigation is to be conducted and the amount of information to be collected as such. You will have to specify your expectations and requirements in the early discussions and then we can finalize the service charges on the basis of our mutual agreement.

  • QUESTION:- So, what will you provide at the completion of this investigation?

CITY INTELLIGENCE:- We will provide you the result of this investigation which will contain reliable and objective feedback of these mystery shoppers. It will help you to see your business from a fresh pair of eyes and understand its strengths and weakness, which will ultimately be useful for you to work accordingly.

No.1 Mystery Shopping Company in Delhi, India

City Intelligence, The Best Mystery Shopping Company In India

mystery shopping company
Business Owners and Managers: Are you searching for a Mystery Shopping Company or a Secret Shopping Company, we understand that finding a right Mystery Shopper can be a daunting task for you . We hope to be able to simplify this process for you and make your decisions easier to make.

City Intelligence Mystery Shopping offers cost effective solutions to your customer service and training requirements. City Intelligence Mystery Shopping specializes in mystery shopping programs for small to mid sized businesses across India, rewarding the mid sized businesses with that elusive large business price.

Our privately held database of over 58,000 Indian mystery shoppers continues to grow at an average of 630 new Indian mystery shopper applications every month. Our shoppers are spread across every state, in every major city, and many small towns throughout India. Geographical coverage for our clients is rarely a concern.

Mystery Shoppers India

Before You Proceed Lets Understand What Exactly mystery shopping delhiMystery Shopping Is?

Mystery Shopping is term given to a a process in which a person individual or a group visits a retail store, flight, restaurant, hotel, bank branch or any such location with the objective of measuring the quality of customer experience & services offered.

In general most of companies define detailed processes and parameters to ensure that customers will have a good experience at their sales locations. Some examples are:

  • How customers will be greeted by their staff
  • Maximum acceptable waiting time
  • What should be the optimum temperature maintained at facility
  • How products should be on display and what products need to display etc.

To ensure that these processes are followed, these companies hire Mystery Shopping Companies like City Intelligence to conduct regular audits on their locations.

We as The mystery shopping company (also called Mystery Shopping Agency) finds people who match the target customer profile of our client, provide them a questionnaire for recording their experience, and provide some training on how to measure various parameters. This person is called a Mystery Shopper. These mystery shoppers then visit the specific location pretending to be a customer and make careful note of things they have been asked to measure. The data is reported to us as the mystery shopping company, & then we compiles and analyzes data gathered from different locations to help our clients measure and improve their customer experience.

Mystery shoppers are usually freelancers or people who do this on the side, and are paid a fee to conduct each mystery audit. If the audit involves purchasing or consuming anything – the mystery shoppers are usually provided a full or partial reimbursement of the money they spend as well.

Mystery Shopping in India & its Benefits 


  1. Improve quality of service

Every business wants to be known for a high level of service, and many companies even mystery shoppers helps to improve qualityspend considerable time and money training employees to provide excellent customer care and support. This does not guarantee that all employees provide the level of helpfulness and assistance that they were hired to provide, though. A secret shopping service can uncover exactly what sort of service customers get even when there is no supervision of employees.


2. Locate potential business hazards

Employee fraud, theft, and dishonesty can all mean lost business and even potential lawsuits. remove business hazards with mystery shoppersMystery shopper services uncover these potential problems so that business owners can act on them before they bankrupt a company.





3. Help with decision making

Employers need to have all the facts before they make hiring, promotion, and business plan decision making with mystery shoppingdecisions. By revealing what works and what does not from a customers perspective, mystery shopper services help business owners make these decisions with all the facts in place.




4. Gather evidence of trouble

Mystery Shopping India by City Intelligence helps in catching possible trouble as well. In gathering evidence with mystery shopperssome cases, employee dishonesty can require action. Even when employees are not performing, though, some employers fear taking action because they fear wrongful dismissal lawsuits. In other cases, employers suspect that crime is taking place but have no evidence. Secret shopper services can help employers get the evidence they need to act.



5. Manage a business

Most business owners are busy, and keeping track of everything is difficult. Secret shopping manage your bussiness with mystery shoppersservices offer owners an additional set of useful, impartial information that can be used in management decisions and changes.



6. Increase sales

Whether a business is service- or product-based, most companies are interested in selling increase sale with mystery shoppingsomething to someone. Businesses spend considerable effort and money on marketing, but if there is a flaw somewhere in the selling process, customers may be choosing to make purchases elsewhere. Performance audits help businesses to uncover these problems in the selling process so that marketing and sales processes work seamlessly to create more sales and profits.


7. Improve company image and branding

Secret shoppers not only come into the store to see how company employees provide service improve you branding with mystery shoppersin person; quality companies can also phone or email a business at various times of the day to determine how good telephone and computer service is. If customers are kept waiting on the telephone or emails are ignored, a company’s reputation may suffer. Performance audits reveal these problems so that business owners can take appropriate action.


8. Answer employer questions

All employers wonder what really happens when they are not around. Virtual customers are solve your business queries with mystery shoppersthe employers eyes and ears and can reveal problems that the business owner may be the last to know.





9. Stop criminal activity

Selling controlled substances to minors, stealing, or selling illegal services and products: Conceptual hand writing showing Stop Fraud. Business photo showcasing campaign advices people to watch out thier money transactions Man holding Megaphone computer screen talking speech bubble.These are all fears of most employers. If employees are doing something illegal at work, employers as well as the company may be held liable. Mystery shopping helps employers detect and stop this sort of activity before it threatens a business.



10.  Get customer insight

Most business owners would love to be able to have direct, unbiased, full information from get customer insight with mystery shoppingeach customer what is working, what needs work in a company, what would make shoppers buy? Secret shopper services offer business owners the chance to ask these sorts of questions and get answers.