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100 'mystery shoppers' hit Dubai stores

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai has employed mystery shoppers to monitor and raise the level of customer service

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Image Credit: GN Archives
Mystery shopper services are offered to registered members of the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme, which was designed to improve the overall shopping experience in the emirate.

Dubai: One hundred mystery shoppers are in town - and they’re here to keep the salesmen on their toes.

Authorities are putting an end to disgruntled salesmen who either provide bad service, fail to provide customers with suitable alternatives or who give inaccurate information, and its all being done through the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.

In a statement on Monday, the DED confirmed that there are 100 mystery shoppers currently employed in its Service Excellence Scheme, who are responsible in monitoring the level of customer service in shops across the emirate.

“Our mystery shoppers include people from different nationalities, and were selected by their communication and observational skills. To ensure a high level of accuracy and efficiency, our employees are continuously trained throughout the year,” said the statement.  

“Our mystery shopper services are only offered to registered members of the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme, which was designed to gain customer confidence and improve the overall shopping experience in Dubai,” said the DED, adding that the scheme has been an ongoing one since 2008.

Mystery shopping assignments are substantially remunerated, with every shopper having the opportunity to earn up to Dh10,000 every cycle based on their ability, dedication and time commitment, according to the DED's website.

Mystery shopping is carried out in four quarterly cycles every year, and each cycle last for 45-50 days.

The DED further explained that participating businesses are then provided with four quarterly reports with feedback on how to improve their services.  

However, the role of mystery shoppers are not limited to monitoring customer satisfaction but also play a vital role in aiding inspectors bust illegal businesses. In a raid that was carried out as recently as week, mystery shoppers had led inspectors to confiscate 200,000 goods worth Dh7 million, which were sold from two residential units and four warehouses.

What is a mystery shopper?

According to Wam reports, the Mystery Shopper and Service Excellence programme was based on the Universal Model for Service Excellence crafted by Philip Forest – one of the founders of the International Institute for Customer Service in the UK.

If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper with the DED, or for further information, contact: DSESshopper@dubaided.gov.ae

  1. A mystery shopper monitors and measures the current performance standards of employed staff.
  2. Each mystery shopper visits various branches at a pre-determined date and time known only to research management.
  3. Mystery shoppers are provided with all the needs to perform a pre-defined ‘scenario’, enabling them to play the role of a real customer without having their identity as a test buyer revealed.

Source: Pan Arab Research Centre

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