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A Backwards Approach to Developing Your Next Mystery Shopping Form

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 7, 2016 9:30:00 AM / by Mark Hollister

Mark Hollister

Key takeaways for fast consumption:

  • Create your mystery shopping form by walking through your customer's journey and developing questions that measure each touch point.
  • Incorporate questions that measure the three channels of service delivery; people, place, and process.
  • Use our free form grader service if you'd like input on your mystery shopping form.

A Backwards Approach to Developing Your Next Mystery Shopping Form |

Input equals output. In order to get actionable results from your mystery shopping program, you need to create the right questions that are answered and scored in the right way so that you can take action on the data. Creating the questions that shoppers will measure is a vital step, but it’s actually the last step in developing a mystery shopping form. If you want to create a form that measures your customer experience in a meaningful way, you’ll need to work backwards.

Start with your customers’ journey instead.

Consider your desired customer experience, distinguish positive customer service behaviors and customer detracting behaviors. Walk yourself through your customers’ journey. What is the first touchpoint they experience when they have an interaction with your company? Determine every touchpoint and consider the actionable criteria that differentiates experience at each one.

For example, when Disney was creating what the guest experience looked like for housekeeping standards, they quickly realized that turndown service and chocolates on the pillow would put them at parity with typical hotel processes. Disney doesn’t settle. They created a process to shine and differentiate at this touchpoint. If you’ve ever come home from the park and seen Mickey on your bed watching a Disney movie with the remote in his hand and washcloths turned origami in your bathroom, now you know why.


Channels of Service Delivery: People. Process. Place.

Generally, questions should be grouped into specific categories that measure each channel of service delivery: people, place and process.

People:  Questions that assess employee skills such as first impressions, knowledge, customer service, follow up, and final impressions. Remember, your front line drives your bottom line so measuring and improving front line skill is vital to the success of your business.

Process:  Questions that assess operational procedures. Measuring processes allow an organization the ability to optimize the mundane.

Place:  Questions that assess your physical space. Design spaces for people. Customers are attracted, engaged, and impacted by the condition of their environment.


Now for the questions.

Ideally, your mystery shop form should be detailed enough to measure the behaviors that have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction and still concise enough to ensure that each question is relevant and actionable. Download our eguide to read best practices for setting up your program, including how to avoid 7 common mistakes of creating a mystery shopping form.

Need help with your mystery shopping form? Contact us about our OptiForm service. OptiForm grades your existing mystery shopping form or gives you everything you need to make a new one. Click the button to learn more. 

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Topics: FastMSP technology, data, mystery shopping

Mark Hollister

Written by Mark Hollister

Mark Hollister has spent over a decade in the customer experience industry, promoting, developing, and executing service improvement strategies for organizations. He has lead sales teams, implemented national training and service development programs, managed marketing initiatives, and consulted with hundreds of companies spanning multiple industry segments on customer experience concepts.