Mystery Shopping can be of enormous value to educational institutions, particularly in relation to helping to increase enrolments and occupancy levels.
Example businesses and situations
- Preparatory schools, boarding schools, other private and independent schools, academies, colleges, university campuses…
- online and phone enquiries, open days and pre-arranged guided tours, follow-up activity (where applicable).
What approaches are used for Mystery Shopping and what are the potential benefits?
Interactions and reports are normally carried out and prepared by a Mystery Shopper from the perspective of a potential student, or the parents of a potential student or pupil.
Often, it makes sense to combine multiple stages and different enquiry channels into a single interaction cycle. For example, a mystery shopper might submit an online enquiry (using one identity), and then make a telephone enquiry, followed by an-in person (or remote – e.g. video chat) tour or consultation, and any follow up. A report is then produced which tells the client in detail how each stage / aspect of the enquiry was handled, and what the “shopper’s” perceptions and impressions were.
“Customerwise were consistently supportive, attentive, and flexible with our requirements for mystery shopping in International schools. Paul and Tam were meticulous in ensuring they recruited shoppers appropriate to the local context and culture of our schools. Furthermore, Customerwise endeavoured to advise and suggest developments throughout the process, adapting reporting structures and dashboards; as well as seeking feedback on how they could further support us moving forward. We have been extremely pleased with the level of detail and insight received through the reports generated and look forward to continuing a positive working relationship with Customerwise.”
Charlotte Smith, Orbital Education
Open days are often valuable times for a Mystery Shopper to attend. On a pre-arranged (or sometimes an unannounced) tour, the Mystery Shopper will be shown around the facilities, and receive relevant and valuable information from their guide.
Visits and reports should consider all aspects of the offering, in terms of the educational offer (curriculum and standards of achievement), upkeep and cleanliness of facilities and grounds, extra-curricular activities, any notable behaviour witnessed on site by pupils, students or staff that may (be seen to) relate to discipline or morale. A skilled Mystery Shopper will be a convincing parent of a potential pupil or student of the institution in question, and will be prepared with a viable and realistic “scenario”. They will ask intelligent questions, register the responses provided, and will share valuable observations.
Telephone Mystery Shopping will often also be worthwhile to assess the way basic enquiries are handled.
Video Mystery Shopping will often be valuable in revealing/retaining more detail, particularly around interactions that are likely to affect enrolment decisions/conversions.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of Mystery Shopping for an educational institution, please don’t hesitate to contact us.