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Creating Mystery Shop Personas that Garner Rich and Accurate Data

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 14, 2018 3:01:33 PM / by Alondra Diaz

Alondra Diaz

Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the observed behavior patterns of your clients real and potential customers. Personas define the character around the shop you are performing and they possess real elements of an actual customer. Creating personas enables you to better measure your clients’ workflows and ultimately the experience they desire to produce. Creating personas is about more than researching your client and studying a shop playbook, it is about creating what appears to be a very real customer. 


What's in a Name?

A lot:  so put some thought into this. You do not want to use your real name. As a shopping professional you need a persona name in order to insulate yourself personally from the shop obligations. When selecting a persona name the keys are to be gender specific, regionalized and kept in line with your abilities of being a convincing actor. A fun best practice is to grab your high school year book and work your way through it. You will have some good memories and have a fun way of recalling your persona’s name when called on in the moment of a shop. The very best processes have an automated way to recall your name on demand.


You Live Where?

Customer shop where they live, typically within 10 miles of where they live. Your clients’ employees are well aware of this and cast judgement based on address. This makes sense for big ticket items like real estate, cars, and furniture. Why would a customer drive 30 miles to buy a new Honda Accord when they can buy it for the same price 5 miles from their home? Even online shopping giants like Amazon cater to local shopping with fulfillment centers in customers backyards. The shopping customer wants things now! Is your persona’s address not only valid, but local to the client your shopping?


You Don't Text, What?

Like your personas address, your persona’s phone number should be local to the business to garner the greatest qualification by your clients’ employees. Nearly 70% of customer provided phone numbers today are mobile numbers, are your personas phone numbers mobile numbers? And more importantly, can your phone numbers send and receive text messages? If you are not able to receive texts then you are not able to effectively measure a customer’s experience.


Your Most Time Consuming to Create: Email Address

Email is essential to any mystery shop and required for online shops. Every online webform requires a valid name@domain.extension email address. Beyond that, employees judge the email address itself most notably looking to match the shoppers name with the email. Every business email address and the majority of personal email addresses contain some form of the shopper’s name in the email address. Does your persona name and email line up? Are they valid and diverse email addresses that won’t be obvious if you submit 5 successive shops in a row?


All of these persona generator details enable real-time believable elements to the shopping experience which in turn pulls out genuine interaction from your clients employees. Imagine a client asking you during a shop- be it in person, phone or via email, “Do you live close by Meredith?” and in a snap you reply, “Yes, I live at the Knolls at Oxford and Apache Rd. Do you know it? I am just 10 minutes away.” Now you are able to measure how well the client knows their customers and their community. A commitment to life like personas is the path to the most accurate and rich shop data you can obtain.


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Topics: data, personas, mystery shoppers

Alondra Diaz

Written by Alondra Diaz

Alondra is our resident customer experience expert with a passion for helping mystery shopping providers excel at their game.