All businesses, especially those with physical stores, need to continually monitor if their staff is indeed doing their jobs right. One of the most common ways to measure this is by hiring a secret shopper to go through the customer experience. Through mystery shoppers, you get to assess your employees’ performance in the most unbiased way possible. The program helps you evaluate the quality of your customer service and strengthen your competitive positioning, among others. 

If you are looking for tips on how to make the most out of your secret shopper program, we have three things you should keep in mind.

Know your goal and keep your focus

Whether it’s personal or in business, people want to achieve many things. However, if a business improvement is your primary goal, you need to have a focus. Examine all aspects of your business and identify which among these areas you want to refine. Do you want to increase more customers? Do you want to make them come back more? 

Knowing what you want to measure from the start can help you concentrate and get the job done. Since you’re dealing with humans here, it is best to avoid any quantitative measure or general statements during the mystery shopping observation. Stick to the yes or no variables. It will keep everything in an objective light.

Also, consider focusing on three crucial factors only. That way, you and your mystery shopper can aim at the right target without overwhelming yourselves. 

Check your competitors

Mystery shopping isn’t only applicable to your shop. You can also do the same at your competitor’s store. It is how you get insights and research data without the need to visit them yourself. Learning from your competitors can help you gain more insights about the industry and your customers. 

Here are some questions you can answer while doing a competitor analysis:

  • What makes your shop different from them?
  • Is there anything you are doing better?
  • What do they have that you don’t?
  • Are they committing any mistakes you should learn from?

Through this method, you see how they work and what methods they use to implement their marketing tactics. Keep in mind, however, that they are executing strategies that won’t always work for you. You need to be clear with this and don’t just follow everything you observe. Sticking with your branding can help you handle this situation. 

Find the next steps coming from your assessment

Nobody’s perfect. With the program’s help, you’ll see what your store or employees are doing wrong. Take this as an opportunity to improve yourself, which is your main objective all along. Based on your results, you can develop new methods to revamp and advance your ways. You can also work on improving your mystery shop criteria according to your new standards.

It is only the beginning of your brand improvement in all aspects.


Having a secret shopper program is beneficial in many ways. If you want to improve your employee retention or improve your sales performance, you can always use the secret shopper method. Follow our tips above to execute your mystery shopping program in the most effective way. More importantly, work with an experienced company providing professional shopping services. That way, your undercover would be a success.

If you need to hire a mystery shopper company in the US, you can always trust us at JM Ridgway. We are a mystery shopper company providing secret shoppers since 1924. Contact Scott Ridgway at 844-886-1487 or to learn more. 

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