• Mystery Shopping your Customer Experience

  • So we’re starting a series called “10 Minutes with…” where we’re going to ask three questions where we get some detailed answers responses. We hope to share some insights on our roles within Proinsight and also maybe shed a bit of light to how we got to where are today personally and also collectively as a company. If you have any questions you’d like to ask any of our team members do email [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you

    We’re going to kick off with the MD and Founder, David Hopkins. David has held senior manager positions at both David Lloyd and GLL, is obsessed with customer experience, and has built over 100 customer experience programmes for our clients. When he’s not running round after his twins he can be found on a badminton court or hacking his way round a golf course.


    What led you to start Proinsight?

    A desire to do things a little differently to other Mystery Shopping agencies. Before I founded the business, I was being mystery shopped at various businesses I work within. Most of the detail I was receiving was of a compliance / tick box nature. Rarely (as a General Manager) was I getting real detail and commentary to help me coach individuals in my team. This was frustrating.

    The Proinsight concept was born, a people based business that works with customer centric businesses to help find their superstars by measuring their customer Experience (CX).


    What do you believe the key factors to running a successful mystery shopping programme are?

    I’d always suggest that the business finds an agency that is a member of the Mystery Shopper Professional Associations (we are ? ) Naturally being part of a trade association will mean that these agencies have to sign up to the association charter which dictates certain behaviours that should be demonstrated by the agency – a must for any company that is looking to start a mystery shop programme.

    Next, I would say choose an agency that takes the time to listen and understand your unique customer journey. No two customer journeys are the same and all programmes should involve a blend of online and offline measurement.

    Look at the shopper database the agency holds, how many shoppers do they have? What is the gender split, How many are active? Does their database contain product innovators? Does your customer journey need homeowners? You get the gist. I’ve shared some of our specific shopper demographics here.

    Ask about the agencies appeal process. We are all humans and mystery shopping is a human process so appeals are inevitable. Understand how the agency deal with them, what do they do to put it right?

    How is the insight delivered? You should be looking for an agency that shares the insight via an online portal allowing you to report on the insights across a period of time. Giving you access to board ready reports.

    And, finally, choose an agency that you actually get on with, a team that you engage with and that shares your passion for the project.


    What exciting plans do you have for Proinsight over the next 12 months?

    So many plans for the future. Despite the pandemic we are growing at a rate of over 10 new clients per month since lockdown has been eased, and with 90% of our original client programmes already underway, we really have experiences for everyone. Ranging from incredible David Lloyd membership mystery shops to Hollywood Bowl family day outs, we’ve also secured large national partnerships with Lidl and the British Army!

    On top of all those face2face mystery shops we are now completing more digital shops than ever before, meaning that we can provide more work for our shopper database working safely from the comfort of their own home. Working with leading brands like BMW & Mercedes we are helping them understand the strengths of their online enquiry process.