Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Mary Portas sparks record number of wannabe mystery shoppers

Published: 27 January 2011
Retail Eyes registered nearly 10,000 mystery shoppers last weekend following the debut of the new Channel 4 series.
Mary Portas sparks record number of wannabe mystery shoppers
The customer experience improvement agency reported a record number of sign ups last weekend, inspired, it believes, by the launch of Mary Portas' new Channel 4 show, Secret Shopper.

In the first episode, which aired on Wednesday, January 19, Ms Portas examined the level of customer service in the fashion retail industry. Last night, the second installment saw her take on the sofa superstores, where she teamed up with Northern chain CSL Sofas to try and turnaround its idea of customer care and taking its Rotherham store, with its team of raucous sales guys, in hand.

Retail Eyes believes the series has triggered something among the British public, with thousands of shoppers jumping at the opportunity to provide feedback to retailers, and earn themselves extra money, while shopping on the high street or visiting pubs and restaurants.

According to the mystery shopper group, the renewed interest in customer service has also sparked an increase in the number of retailers and hospitality providers looking to improve the experience they offer to customers.

Retail Eyes marketing manager Simon Boydell said: "It is great to see an increased interest into the world of mystery shopping - consumers are becoming aware that not only can they get paid to go shopping, eat out at a restaurant or stay the night in a hotel, but they will be providing valuable feedback to assist retailers in providing a more enjoyable shopping experience for everyone.

"As viewers will have seen in Mary Portas: Secret Shopper, the power of customer feedback and the mystery shopper is immense. It is by far one of the best ways to assess service, as mystery shoppers give honest feedback about their shopping experiences so retailers and service providers can ensure they are offering the best service. "

Ms Portas even offers shoppers the chance to air their views about customer service on her website, with a section dubbed 'The Best (& Worst) Shops in Britain' .

A number of leading home and DIY retailers are featured in the list, including Focus, B&Q, Homebase, Dunelm Mill, John Lewis and Pets at Home, with their rankings updated as new comments and reviews are posted.


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