A Mystery Shopper Program at Work


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One of the best tools in for managing a customer experience program is a mystery shopper. Often the concept is associated with uncovering negative customer service areas, but if you use the program effectively, it’s versatile benefits goes beyond reporting improvement areas.

Mystery shopping programs provide insight into both the great service and the substandard service. Newt Barrett wrote an excellent article on how Five Guys Burgers and Fries uses mystery shopping in their customer experience program. Barrett reveals the restaurant uses mystery shoppers to pinpoint staff members who excel at serving the customer. He claims the biggest effect is in how management leverages the mystery shopping report into an incentive program for employees.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries is an example of how to use mystery shoppers for brand and service management by to determining specific company goals and then creating a program that directly supports it. Whether it’s finding areas of improvement, pinpointing the outstanding staff, or measuring the effectiveness of brand promotions, mystery shopping is a versatile customer experience tool. If you are looking to maintain consistent standards of customer experience, the success of Five Guys Burgers and Fries indicates the value of mystery shopping.

David Rich
ICC/Decision Services
David Rich is President and CEO of ICC/Decision Services, a company committed to the customer experience. David has been cited in numerous publications including Smart Money and Fortune. David is a past president of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and an active member of National Association of Retail Marketing Services.


  1. It was a good article to read and I was happy to hear the whole experience is used in a positive way as it should be. Whilst it is important that any negative points are rectified, the mystery shopper programme must focus on the positive finds too.

    We used a mystery shopping company recently and found it not only brought to light a couple of weak areas, it also highlighted our strengths.

    The positiveness of this boosted staff morale no end so I completely agree with Newt Barrett’s comment: happy staff, happy customers.

  2. This is a good program for mystery shoppers and a great post. It really helped me a lot as a mystery shopper. Thank you so much.ˆˆ


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