Home: Survey
Research: understand the trends in the marketplace through our research with members and buyers
Research: Mystery buyer
Our telephone mystery buyer is an effective way of measuring and developing sales, service and the customer experience
Research: Benchmarking
Help to improve your business by comparing your venues overall performance to that of your competitors

Log In Telephone mystery buyer survey

Introduction and background

A buyer’s first impression of your venue is vital. Each year we organise a ‘mystery buyer’ survey for our members, the scoring system has been developed based on your feedback from previous years. 

The aim of the research is not to identify the venue with the highest score, but for all members to use the results to assess their service levels at the initial and crucial stage of communication with potential buyers. The survey provides a valuable ‘snapshot’ of the current situation from a potential buyers’ perspective, so you can benchmark yourself against academic and other types of competitor venues.

An independent researcher records each venue’s response to the enquiry against a checklist of actions a buyer may expect to encounter. A score is allocated to each element of the enquiry handling process covering (1) the initial response (2) how much detail was gathered from the buyer (3) how venue staff provided information to the buyer and (4) the follow up from the venue. 

Average scores for VM members against hotels and conference centres

In 2014-15 the members overall average score increased to 46% from 45% in 2013-14. However, it’s interesting to highlight whilst the members overall average score has been consistent over the last three years (46%, 45% & 46%), for the first time it was lower than that for both samples of hotels (62%) and conference centres (51%).

Section 1: How staff use the phone (max points 130): The average members score for this section has increased from 102 (78%) last year to 110 (85%).

Section 2: How much detail is gathered (max points 500): The average members score for this section decreased from 220 (44%) last year to 217 (43%).

Section 3: Providing information and quotes (max points 270): The average members score for this section decreased from 107 (40%) last year to 99 (37%).  

Section 4: Following up after sending initial information (max points 100): The average members score for this section increased from 22 (22%) last year to 36 (36%).

On the right of this page is a sample report from 2014-15 which can be downloaded, it also outlines the scoring criteria the appointed agency uses.

1st September 2014


2014 Mystery Buyer Report (sample).pdf (918.9k)