Toggle menu

New Forest businesses highly rated in mystery shopping scheme

23 May 2023

Independent shops and hospitality businesses in the New Forest have been celebrated in a recent mystery shopper programme.

78 high street shops and hospitality businesses took part, with results showing the majority achieved scores of over 80% for their 'customer experience'.

Our 'Shop Doctor' programme visited participating shops and hospitality businesses in Hythe, Lyndhurst, New Milton, Barton, Milford-on-Sea, and Brockenhurst earlier this year.

Each participating business received a score out of 100 from the mystery shopper visit. An independent researcher posed as a customer and rated participating businesses on window displays, customer service, knowledge of products, accuracy and presentation of website, social media, and overall customer experience. Participants then received a confidential report from the Shop Doctor.

Cllr Derek Tipp, the portfolio holder for planning and economy said: "We recognise that our High Streets are a crucial element of local communities and that local independent retailers are continuing to face challenging times. Shop Doctor is just one of several council initiatives to help support our businesses and it provides important learning for our local businesses and allows them to identify areas for improvement in their customer service."

Burrow & Hide, an independent interior design home shop in Lyndhurst who took part in the initiative, shared on Facebook: "So proud of the entire team who received an "excellent" rating overall for customer experience. With an overall score of over 90%, we are thrilled."

The overall average Customer Experience score across the towns and villages was 88%. There were also six outstanding businesses which achieved 100% for their mystery shopper experience.

Jim Smith from firm Insight6, who carried out the surveys on behalf of the council, said "The results show that New Forest retailers compare really well with other towns and villages across the South of England, and the area has a high number of shops and businesses that give customers a great experience."

Hear about future business support initiatives by signing up for business e-newsletters.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email