How COVID-19 Affected Mystery Shopping
When attractions across the globe temporarily shuttered out of caution as the coronavirus spread, mystery shoppers pivoted quickly. Two undercover shoppers shared with Funworld the changes their businesses made with the new needs and expectations of attractions in mind.
Josh Liebman, director of business development at Amusement Advantage:
When COVID-19 entered the United States, attractions went on high alert and amped up their cleaning procedures. We supplemented our evaluations with more data while our clients were still operating, as our mystery shoppers took note of staff members cleaning, additional measures the attractions were taking, and how well employees were communicating with guests about sanitation. We only stopped our program when the attractions closed.
When attractions reopen, we anticipate changes from our clients—masks, gloves, social distancing—will be top of mind, and we are staying in touch with industry trends so we can work with our clients most effectively. We can adapt our evaluations to whatever the new normal is for the industry and society in general.
Ron Welty, founder and chief client officer at IntelliShop:
As the country emerged from the housing/financial crisis of 2008-2011, theme parks and venue operators realized the competition for entertainment dollars had increased. That aspect will be even greater coming out of this worldwide pandemic. Going forward, as businesses start to reopen, mystery shopping will be the only way to really know if new health and safety measures are being complied with. Customers will flood social media with immediate commentary, both negative and positive, about brands’ and locations’ performance around this issue.