This is how you achieve success with Mystery Shopping

Published in Adformatie on 18 august 2018.

As an organization you want customers to have a better experience with you than with your competitor. But managing experience is easier said than done: the market is complex and customers are critical and are becoming more and more articulate. Customer contact also takes place via a growing number of channels, making it more difficult to send and monitor customer experience. How do you ensure an optimal customer experience?

Mystery Shopping is an effective way to achieve this improvement. At least, when you use it the right way. With these tips and suggestions to avoid pitfalls, your Mystery Shopping program is guaranteed to succeed.


  1. Start by developing a Mystery Shopping strategy. Formulate clear goals that are aimed at solving specific business issues. Keep the customer in mind. Be guided by what the customer thinks is important and not by what the organization thinks is important.
  2. Set up which conditions your mystery shoppers and their store visits must meet. Consider, for example, the time or duration of the visits.
  3. Develop a reliable and robust survey tool in which your mystery shopper can share his / her findings. Provide a clear and structured questionnaire that provides insight into what you want to know.
  4. Develop realistic shopper scenarios and a thorough briefing. Clear instructions about the role the mystery shopper has to play ultimately determine the success of your Mystery Shopping program.
  5. Determine which stores you want to visit how often. Visiting all locations every month is not always the best approach. It is especially important that you select stores with the business issues you want to solve in your mind.
  6. Ensure that these issues also form the starting point for the data analysis. Who will work with the insights within your organization? Where and how do they do that?


  1. Do not use Mystery Shopping to spy on your employees or catch them making mistakes.
  2. Do not use it as a replacement for the 'voice of the customer' or other methods to get direct feedback from the customer.
  3. Do not restrict the research to physical store locations only. Consider also channels such as: telephone and online / mobile touchpoints.
  4. Do not ask questions that are not relevant to your customer.
  5. Make sure your questionnaire is not too long.

More information?
Do you want to improve your customer experience, for example with the help of Mystery Shopping? At Ipsos we are happy to help you further. Please contact Geert Samplonius,, +31 (0) 6 2123 7494, or visit our Mystery Shopping webpage for more information.

Customer Experience