Technology Company Uses Mystery Shops to Ensure Telecommunications Partner's Best Retail Practices

Posted by TrendSource on July 29, 2019

Background and Client Objectives

A global technology company offering an array of products and services was rolling out and aggressively marketing its new cloud storage service. Along the way, they realized they needed to ensure their telecommunications partners were adequately and accurately informing customers of the new service, as per the terms of their contractual agreement.

Essentially, the client needed to measure product sales knowledge and service standards of their telecommunications partner’s associates across various in-store scenarios and determine whether marketing materials were displayed appropriately in their telecommunications partner’s stores throughout the United States. They came to TrendSource with these two objectives, looking for a flexible and in-depth way to check-in on the telecommunications partners’ hundreds of US locations.

Program Development and Methodology

TrendSource leaned on its nearly 30 years of market research experience and its expansive Field Agent database, determining that mystery shop audits offered the best combination of qualitative and quantitative data the client required.

But these were not typical mystery shops since the client wanted data across different real-life in-store scenarios, including:

• Existing customers purchasing a new phone
• New customers purchasing their first phone with the telecommunications carrier
• Various in-store scenarios such as existing customers coming in to make a payment

In each scenario, the client needed to ensure the retail partner properly promoted the new cloud service, as well as properly educated the customer on its terms and capabilities.

Results and Analysis

TrendSource provided the client with a penetrating executive summary that clearly and cogently outlined the telecommunications partner’s performance. Unfortunately for the client, the telecommunications partner had some room to grow, with less than half of the mystery shops uncovering appropriately knowledgeable and proactive staff members.

Yet, fortunately, they were alerted to specific locations that underperformed so they could take small-scale corrective action. They were also able to identify broader trends that traversed locations and regions, allowing them to refine their training techniques, contractual language, and their future relationship with their telecommunications partners as they continue their shared strategy.

TrendSource offered a blueprint of what these corrective actions and broader initiatives would look like, and offered a roadmap to improved in-store performance.


TrendSource’s expansive Field Agent database is both flexible and precise, meaning it can be refined to assign Field Agents who fit any number of specific criteria. In this case, the client needed existing customers of a particular telecommunications carrier, customers who had specific devices, as well as agents who had no existing relationship with this carrier who were already in the market for a new device. Furthermore, TrendSource’s Field Agents proved themselves to be committed and responsible enough to handle big ticket purchases and execute a wide variety of scenarios.

This field work was complimented in later engagement stages by TrendSource’s Insights and Advanced Analytics team, which turned vast qualitative and quantitative data streams into accessible, digestible, and actionable insights delivered in an Executive Summary.

Topics: Analytics, Mystery Shopping, Technology, Mobile Technology