Does your brewpub or tap room smell like freshly brewed beer, or freshly mopped floors? This is one of many customer experience questions posed by a new and unique business, Secret Hopper, that aims to work with breweries to evaluate and improve the experience of their customers. A play on the term “secret shopper”, this novel start up stresses they are not in the business of critiquing beers, but rather providing objective and actionable feedback on the guest experience.
Secret Hopper is a brand new business, officially launched only weeks ago. They are currently building a network of qualified “Secret Hoppers” who will be tasked to visit breweries and provide feedback via a brief questionnaire. These mystery shoppers will have their tabs covered by Secret Hopper in exchange for their services. The company is also fostering relationships with breweries, with their primary mission being collaboration with breweries to work to improve the aspects of the guest experience beyond serving the best beer possible.
With so many breweries now operating in the United States, many small businesses with a handful of employees, Secret Hopper provides brewers and owners the opportunity to see their brewery from the other side of the bar. Evaluations focus on first impressions, atmosphere and customer service.
Company founder Andrew Coplon sums up their goal, “Secret Hopper believes that an outsider’s perspective can bring surprising and helpful information to any brewery. Secret Hoppers are undercover guests who will provide honest, first hand feedback about their experience at the establishment. They will share their first thoughts upon arriving, feedback on the atmosphere, and detailed accounts of the customer service they received while spending time at the brewery.”
As clients come on board and the roster of Secret Hoppers grows, the company hopes to leverage the data collected to further their ability to help breweries improve. Coplon continues, “Over time their research will help businesses analyze trends, track improvements, and make their brand stronger one pint at a time.”
A unique idea, to be sure, it will be interesting to see where Secret Hopper goes. Online reviews via social media such as Facebook, and – gulp – Untappd, don’t always paint the most accurate picture or provide business owners with a true sense of opportunities for improvement. Many industries rely on “mystery shopper” services to get a more organized and detailed outside perspective on their operations. Secret Hopper is betting the brewing industry will be just as willing to employ this strategy.
If you’re interested in becoming a Secret Hopper (which sounds like a pretty sweet deal, all told), you can apply here. If you’re a brewery owner interested in getting “secret hopped”, you can reach out here.