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  • Writer's pictureService Performance Group

How companies should use mystery shopping results to improve employee performance

Mystery shopping is best used as a coaching tool, not a punitive tool. Nothing about the mystery shopping program your company uses should be a mystery to the employees. Share with them at the outset you intend to implement a mystery shop program and show your employees the actual report so they understand up front what is expected of them. Gain their buy-in to the process as a means of increasing the bar of performance.


If your company has an Intranet where only employees have access set it up so employees can view the results of cumulative data. Do not share individuals named on the reports unless it is for stellar performance. Do not shame an employee who just might have been having an off day. It happens to all of us. Post results monthly if a monthly program or quarterly if a quarterly program. Management needs to provide a summary of encouragement for what is positive and positive coaching for areas deemed underperforming.

One-On-One Discussions:

Discussing individual performance one on one is the best way to coach employee improvement. Calling an employee out in a team meeting will isolate and humiliate the employee and they may leave, not always a good thing to have happen when help wanted signs are found everywhere in our current economic climate. Encourage improved performance with steps to be measured along the way. Be respectful and listen to your employee’s concerns and twine them into your expectations for their personal improvement.

Staff Meetings:

This is a great time to announce and even reward employees who have performed exceptionally on a shopper report. Peer recognition will go a long way as well as small reward/gift of some kind.

Encourage Location v Location Competition:

Whether you’re a single location or multi-unit retailer or restaurant chain employees will rise to the challenge if a solid reward for performance is handed out. Gift cards, additional paid time off are two ways to inspire individual and team performance.

New Hire’s:

Each new hire needs to be made aware of performance expectations with mystery shopping being one of those components and being shown the mystery shopper format so they understand what they are being measured and evaluated against. The mystery shop program should be transparent to all those affected by it.


You cannot manage what you do not measure. A monthly mystery shopping program with Service Performance Group will provide actionable data from the outset. Use this delivered data regularly both in one-on-one settings and in the aggregate where no names are shown but data is. Properly applied you will see your employees looking forward to delivered monthly results!

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