Mystery Shopping: A Performance Evaluation Technique for Customer-Retail Experience

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This paper will discuss the phenomenon of Mystery Shopping in the field of CUSTOMER-RETAILER EXPERIENCE. By utilizing the writing about Mystery Shopping definitions and confinements of this instrument will be exhibited. Total Solution Group has helped me in conducting this research by providing me time and resources related to my study based on an ayurvedic brand: KAMA AYURVEDA. TSG provides mystery shopping service as a tool to its clients to help them in evaluating and improving customer service. Nowadays, it is not sufficient anymore to have excellence in services, processes and relationships. Now is the time to create excellence in customer experiences, as the only way to create a competitive advantage in the market. The goals of this paper are (1) Understanding how mystery shopping ensures business excellence. (2) Role of mystery shopping in the Ayuvedic industry (3)To understand the factors which will help in offering superior shopping experience to customers (4) To measure customer experience & satisfaction on various parameters. The study includes the parameters on which the employees have been evaluated and suggested measures to improve upon the service quality and customer experience. The development and implementation of a mystery shopper programme are closely linked to human resource management and employee involvement as it can be used as a useful and effective tool to evaluate employees at the workplace. The research findings identify how mystery shopping is used and the methods used to maximize the reliability of the technique. Therefore, this research states that mystery shopping can be a useful tool in addition to the more often-used survey methods.

Total Solutions Incorporated

Total Business Solutions is a consultancy firm based on the concept of Mystery shopping. This company provides assistance to various major brands in ensuring quality service and customer delight. The firm helps its clients in conducting mystery audits and providing them with a vision of their brand and its outlets through the eye of a customer. It helps in highlighting the loopholes present in the services offered by a particular brand and thereby helps the brand in resolving the same.

What is Mystery Audit?

Mystery audit is the set of certain processes that enables the organization to monitor its performance anonymously and confidentially

What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping or a mystery consumer or secret shopper is an instrument used externally by market research companies, watchdog organizations, or internally by companies themselves to measure the quality of service, or customer experience, or to gather specific information about products and services. The mystery consumer’s specific identity is generally not known by the employees.

Ayurveda Industry

As the world is speedily inclining towards pure and organic stuff, the most ancient science of medicine and healthcare, Ayurveda is reliving with its glory. The future of Ayurveda is looking fabulous as more and more players are entering the market with innovative products, quality packaging, and strategic marketing activities.

About the Focused Company- KAMA Ayurveda

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Kama Ayurveda was started in 2002 in India, to promote the message of benefits of Ayurveda, universally. Today, Kama Ayurveda’s high quality, beautifully packaged products are sold globally and used by some of the world’s leading hotels and. Kama Ayurveda creates a completely natural remedy.

Literature Review

P Allison, D Severt, D Dickson (2010)- This study addressed the need for more research regarding mystery shopping evaluations by conducting a grounded theory analysis of the motivations of mystery shoppers, integrating quantitative survey data into the results. The results identified 14 dimensions of mystery shopper motivations and a model was presented showing these motivators as variables that are influential in the motivation to perform mystery shops.

Candice Benjes-Small and Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger (2011)- The research showed that interpersonal communication between library staff and patrons. The interpersonal communication between the two was just as important to the patron as whether a question was answered correctly. In this exercise, shoppers posed as patrons and asked a library staff member a few questions. Immediately following the encounter, the shoppers reported on the service provided. C Tarantola, P Vicard, I Ntzoufras (2012)- The author analyzed data from mystery shopping surveys via Bayesian Networks in order to examine and evaluate the quality of service offered by the loan departments of Greek Banks. It was inferred that customer satisfaction is directly related to the services provided by the staff and it proved to be useful in deciding the strategies of the company.

Rachel J. C. Chen and Clayton W. Barrows (2015) – Mystery shopping has been used to objectively measure whether employees follow the visions of a company’s quality service standards. It then creates a feedback process that allows companies to train their employees to consistently deliver quality services and achieve service excellence.

Ms Priyanka Singh, Mr Gaurav Verma (2014)- This paper enhanced previous concepts of customer image and perception by introducing the concept referred to as Customer Intelligence management and its tool as mystery shopping/audit. The goals of this paper were (1) to discuss the enhanced conceptual and operational benefits of mystery shopping in respect of brand positioning. (2) To discuss the requirement of shop auditor to measure customer intelligence 3) Components constructed to train the shop auditors.

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