It is an incognito research method where specialized auditors are checking several aspects of the commercial location in order to establish at what level the quality standards are respected in a certain company.
This type of study can be done using a direct visit, a phone conversation or via email; the buying of a product or usage of a service can be simulated or it can be a real process. Several aspects can be evaluated: physical conditions (cleanliness, ambience, etc.), quality of products or service, courtesy and competence of the employees, correctness of the employees, the type and presence of the products, etc.
The need for this type of study is dictated by the interest to increase the loyalty of the customers and their level of satisfaction. There is no better communication channel than recommendations. Only one out of ten satisfied customers will tell about a positive experience, compare to eight out of ten who will tell about a negative experience. Financially speaking, attracting a new customer is harder than keeping an existing one.