Do you have house tours in your town or city? Most times, these types of events are planned so as to allow people like you and me to visit historic houses, renovated barns, banks or office buildings that are now homes, or the residences of people who have a knack for decorating or gardening.
Signing on for a house tour is a terrific way to spend a day with friends and do what most of us secretly want to do – be allowed to freely walk around a person’s home, stare, peek and comment on what they own, the colors they chose and how they organized their spaces.
Some might think that people who go on house tours are just plain nosey and like to peek. But we disagree.
House tours provide those who participate with plenty of truly good ideas of how they might re-energize a space within their own homes or create a garden to enjoy on a summer afternoon.
Or to envision how ideas they might have for painting or furniture styles truly look and work in real home situations.
Competitive mystery shopping is the business version of a house tour.
Many businesses choose to not only secret shop their own business to assess the quality of service, look at operational issues, and to get customer insight, but they may also opt to now and again check in on a competitor in their geographic area.
Why would they peek into someone else’s business?
Most of our clients who conduct competitive studies ask our shoppers to shop their own location – and a location or two of a competitor – and then write a narrative comparison piece about each location.
Our client’s aren’t trying to be nosey – they are looking to up their game to make sure their operations and staff are doing as good a job as the business down the street.
By secret shopping not only their competitors, but also their own stores at the same time, they open themselves up to closer inspection and more critical feedback than when they only shop their own stores or centers.
When a client contracts for competitive shops, they are allowing mystery shoppers to peek in their corners, as well as those of the competition, in order to ‘up the game’ to make sure they know where they stand with their consumer.
The benefit to you, as a mystery shopper, is that usually these locations are near one another, your scenarios are identical, and you will be paid for multiple shops.
So the next time you see a mystery shop opportunity that says “competitive shop,” think of it as ‘house tour’; a chance to take a little closer look to assist with increasing the quality of that particular business, while getting paid to do a little bit of ‘peeking’ of your own.
Have you done competitive shops? What was different about them?
Learn more about the ins and outs of mystery shopping! Join our complimentary monthly Jane Bond conference call. It is held the 2nd Thursday of each month, so there is plenty of time for you to sign up for next week’s call. Click here for more info.