Campaign: Mystery shopping firm ranks areas for service

Mystery shopping firm Retail Eyes was looking to add to its 120,000-strong army of shoppers, particularly from under-represented groups, such as men. It coincided this campaign with the Institute of Consumer Service's National Customer Service Week.

Campaign National Customer Service Week
Client Retail Eyes
PR team Mulberry Marketing Communications
Timescale 2-8 October 2006
Budget £1,000

Objectives
To gain publicity for Retail Eyes in trade and consumer press. To recruit more mystery shoppers, especially men and those with a lower-middle-class background. 

Strategy and Plan
Retained agency Mulberry Marketing Communications had a limited budget, so decided to tap into Retail Eyes' existing database of information rather than commission fresh research. It analysed 50,000 mystery shopping reports to identify the UK's best and worst regions for customer service. It then sent tailored press releases to regional media in areas included in its ‘best' and ‘worst' lists. Areas targeted included top-ranked Guernsey and poor-performing Carlisle.

The only potential hitch was a fiery reaction from local retailers in low-ranking areas, but Mulberry decided this added to the debate.

Measurement and Evaluation
The story was covered in 37 publications. A number of local journalists decided to test firms' customer service for follow-up features. An article on the lists is also scheduled to be included in trade title Call Centre Focus.

Online interest included theretailbulletin.com and newswales.co.uk, which reported that Llandudno had the best score in Wales.

Results
Hits to Retail Eyes' website increased by 75 per cent during the week. Figures on how many mystery shoppers have since been recruited were not available as PRWeek went to press.

Croydon Advertiser reporter Neil Millard says: ‘What impressed me was that the release was targeted at Croydon, which made a nice change.'

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