As fans, it is easy to get blinded by our love for craft beer. When I talk about breweries, taprooms and beer; I rarely say anything bad. I can be constructive but never harsh. But the reality is every business needs to improve. If they want to reach more customers, breweries must get real feedback that they can use to make their customer experience better. This is especially true about the taproom experience. That is where Secret Hopper comes in.
What Is Secret Hopper
Most industries use “secret shopper” services that allow them to understand and rate customer experience. Secret Shoppers are compensated to visit a store or use a service and then provide feedback. That feedback is normally structured in the form of a survey and often gives a score or rating. These services are valuable since they give genuine feedback. In addition, secret shoppers can be given a specific set of parameters to follow.
For example, the secret shopper can be asked to visit a restaurant during lunch time between Monday and Thursday and order off of their new seasonal menu. In this way, the company can focus in on specific parts of their business. In addition, secret shoppers are compensated for what they are doing. This means they are motivated to follow those parameters and provide ample feedback.
Secret Hopper is a secret shopper service for the craft beer industry. They work with breweries that have interest in understanding and improving their customer experience. They find secret shoppers that have a passion for craft beer and send them to the brewery to provide feedback.
Even though this is a new service, they are on pace to work with over 50 breweries by the end of the year. Make sure you check out the end of the article where you can learn how to help bring them to your area.
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Why Secret Hopper Is Important
Like I said in the intro, as a craft beer fan I can find something positive to say about almost any beer or brewery. Maybe that is me being blind to reality but that’s how I view craft beer. And I think there are many others in the industry are the same.
This isn’t good for craft beer. Saying every brewery is great isn’t helping the industry improve. Instead, breweries need information that they can use to take action. Understanding how real customers feel walking into a brewery is important. Getting the customer view on how your bartenders treat customers matter.
And that is one of the most valuable factors to mention; Secret Hopper is not a beer rating/judging service. That isn’t what they do. Yes, the beer is part of the experience but there are already many ways to get feedback on the beer (Untappd, Beer Advocate, etc). So they focus on the actual experience of being at the brewery – the sights, smells, and feelings.
Since Secret Hopper focuses on the experience and not the beer; participants answer questions about the taproom set up, the bartender, and how they felt about their visit. Much of the feedback is designed to ensure that the brewery is connecting, serving and educating their customers.
Getting more people into the taproom is one of the key focuses of a brewery. That is where they can control your entire experience with their beer and brand. That is where it is also the most profitable for them to sell their beer. So getting customers to return and bring their friends is high on the list of things to do. And with new breweries opening all of the time, this is more important than ever.
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Get Paid To Visit Breweries
So the reality of a service like this is you need both sides to make it work. Secret Hopper is actively signing on new breweries while at the same time recruiting secret shoppers to conduct brewery visits. Bother are critical pieces to the process.
That’s where we get to participate. We can suggest this service to our favorite breweries as well as sign up to be Secret Hoppers.
And yes, you will be compensated. That sounds insane but it’s true. A standard Secret Hop pays around $20 which covers a flight and a pint. If the brewery offers food and requires that as part of the Secret Hop then the compensation can be more. I am definitely a fan of someone buying my beer and I bet you are too.
By working with Secret Hopper, you can help shape the customer experience at breweries near you. This is a critical step to ensuring that newcomers to craft beer have the best experience possible and keep coming back to the taproom time and time again.
If you know of a brewery that you think could benefit from this service, please forward them this article and encourage them to sign up.
*Update: In response to my article, Secret Hopper has enrolled me in their referral program. I have the potential to earn a referral fee for any brewery that signs up and uses their service.