Introducing a Mystery Shopping Program Employees

by : National Shopping Service

Often times, upper management is uncertain about the best way to present a Mystery Shopping program to their employees. The initial rollout of the Mystery Shopping/Employee Incentive Program is crucial to its success. Your company’s executives must involve middle and lower management and build excitement from the inside out. It is usually a good idea to share the program objectives with all affected employees as well, to give them a better understanding of why the program is so important. Detailed written program guidelines should also be provided.

These guidelines should be drafted and presented in a colorful, upbeat manner. If an employee incentive is included, examples of awards should be displayed along with the Mystery Shopper evaluation form and associated written instructions.

Program Objectives

The primary objective of this program is to motivate employees on a daily basis to perform, monitor their performance, and acknowledge their efforts. All of which will increase their level of customer service.

Secondary objectives and benefits of the program include increased referral business, improved up selling and cross selling, decreased “negative" referrals, increased revenue, increased market share, as well as non-biased, objective, “arms-length" data for employee reviews.

The Mystery Shopping Evaluations also give your company’s executives the ability to catch and correct the problems before the real customers do. Remember, “You’ll never get a second chance to leave a first impression".

Introducing the Program to your Employees in 5 Easy Steps


The initial rollout of the Mystery Shopping program is crucial to its success. Employees need to understand that this is their chance to shine and be recognized for hard work. The entire sales staff should be involved and an air of excitement needs to be built from the inside out. The program must be sold in a “positive" light.


It is usually a good idea to incorporate an incentive program to help motivate the employees. A feeling of “I’ve got a chance to win" usually excites those involved and generally creates a friendly competition between employees and sites. Most employees begin to really look forward to being evaluated because they will be recognized for working hard, and if their score is high enough, rewarded!


One of the first things one should tell an employee is that a Mystery Shopper evaluation is a “snap-shot-in-time." The Mystery Shopper will complete an in-depth evaluation form after visiting your sites. This data is what the customer experienced and perceived while visiting your site. This data is invaluable and the perfect tool for re-training employees, offering ideas for improvement, and complimenting areas of excellence. It is usually a good idea to share the Mystery Shopping report with the manager and evaluated employee to offer constructive feedback.


It is important to recap with your employees what is important for good customer service and why. Stress the importance of a smile, eye contact, a friendly greeting, a helpful attitude, offering a business card, attempting to close the sale, being well groomed, etc.


Prizes and awards should be given to “exceptional" employees and facilities. Most stores develop various types of awards ranging from “employee of the month" to “most improved store" to “best overall." It is a good idea to offer “progressive awards" as well as having some “instant" awards (i.e. Lapel Pins) on hand. It is strongly recommended to have many types of awards and several minor awards to be regularly achieved. Again, this is to enhance the employees feeling of “I’ve got a chance to win" and to motivate daily.