Compliance Mystery Shopping and Customer Experience Research Case Studies

Compliance Audits Fine Tune Menu Tests

Compliance audits play a vital role in preparing retail locations for marketing tests.  As an example, a quick service restaurant client needed to confirm that a sample of restaurant locations displayed the appropriate merchandising materials for a new menu item.  Without the audit, it would be difficult for management to accurately measure the new item’s sales impact.

Confero created detailed auditor guidelines that included clear descriptions of the merchandising materials and photos of correct displays.  Auditors used high-quality cameras to photograph indoor and drive thru menu boards at the location.  They compared photos to the POP guides to determine if the restaurants displayed the appropriate materials.  Later, they ordered the new item and photographed it to provide data on the consistency of the appearance of the new item.  Within 24 hours of the visits, they uploaded results and photos for each restaurant location.

Confero conducted the audits within a 5-day timeframe, and the company received results immediately following completion of the review team’s quality assurance step.  This quick turnaround allowed the company to ship materials quickly to those locations that did not have the new merchandising materials.

Compliance: Are all Your Customer Service Reps Answering Inquiries with Correct Information?

Our client operated a large customer service center and maintained responsibility for responding to thousands of calls and email inquiries each day. Our client was concerned about the consistency of email responses to customers. In particular, the client was interested in knowing whether email inquiries about the same issue were responded to with the same information.

Confero devised a program that allowed mystery shoppers to anonymously make inquiries without using their personal email accounts. The shoppers asked a series of pre-determined questions, provided by our client, and then made note of how long it took to receive a reply. When the response was received, the mystery shoppers also captured word for word details in the email responses by uploading them into our Compass reporting system. We granted online access to these raw reports to our client, whose team reviewed the responses for technical accuracy and then assigned an accuracy rating to the reply. This allowed our client’s management to evaluate the timeliness, consistency and professionalism of staff email communications. Confero delivered this information quickly via our Compass online reporting system, so that management was able to make adjustments as needed in this important communications area of their organization.

Coupon Compliance: Are Independent Retailers Accepting Your Coupons for a Competitor’s Brand?

Confero often works within tough parameters to get clients the critical brand information they need, and to get it to them quickly. Often times, our client’s own project and reputation are on the line. This is usually the case for projects involving marketing and advertising agencies. Timelines are short, requirements are strict and significant advertising budgets are riding on the results.

As an example, a manufacturing company wanted to learn if stores were accepting their coupon for a discount on a competing brand. If stores were doing this, it would mean that the company was spending considerable dollars to print and distribute coupons which customers were not even using to purchase their product.

To accomplish the project goals, the client engaged Confero to mystery shop roughly 900 convenience stores to test compliance with coupon requirements. Mystery shoppers visited a mix of stores evenly represented by store type, size and type of market (rural vs. urban). Confero’s kitting and fulfillment services allowed the project to include shipments of specific coupon print lots to mystery shoppers who attempted to use those coupons on incorrect products at stores.

Confero completed the mystery shop audits, meeting the specific requirements, and delivered this critical information to the client, on time.

It took us just 24 days from the date of our client’s initial inquiry until the day the final report was delivered. This vital information, delivered quickly, allowed our client to determine whether wave two of the coupon campaign would be feasible and would produce the expected ROI for their own client.