mystery shopping process whats next employee coaching

So, you’ve set up a mystery shopping program:  you've identified standards, created a strategic measurement form, deployed mystery shoppers and now you are receiving completed mystery shops.  But you're probably wondering, "What happens next?"

mystery shopping process diagram

Measuring your customer’s experience is only half of the equation.  It's what you do next that will make the difference in whether your mystery shopping investment will pay off or fall flat.  Now it's time to make those mystery shops work for YOU!  The "secret sauce", if you will. This is where the magic happens and ideally behaviors are shaped, resulting in better performance. 

When you have received completed mystery shops back, you will want to review the mystery shop in a timely manner and provide timely feedback to those who were shopped.  Immediate feedback is essential to shaping behavior (think Pavlov’s Dogs…).  Take note of areas of success (what was great!) and opportunity (where did we fall short?) that are identified in the shop.  Usually these are very evident in the quantitative (scored scale) and qualitative (text sections) results.

Coaching Guide Action Plan CTAThen, you'll want to complete an action plan (download our free Coaching Guide & Action Plan HERE) with your “shopped” employee(s). If the mystery shop includes more than 1 employee, you will want to meet separately with each of them and block out names for privacy. 

Before you complete the action plan, review the mystery shop together with the employee and identify areas of success and areas of opportunity.

The goal of this in-person meeting is to:

1. Celebrate successes

2. Identify skills for improvement

3. Close the skill gap

You will then apply an action plan to begin to identify and close the skill gap. Your action plan should include these 4 sections:


Answers the question “What is the desired BEHAVIOR or SKILL to develop?”

A Behavior is an observable action. A Skill is a technique that is acquired through training and experience.

For example: The team does not perform when the manager is not there.

2. Barriers

In this step, we identify possible OBSTRUCTIONS to the skill or behavior.

Ask open-ended questions to drill down to root cause. Actively listen.

For example: The employee is tired because he has multiple jobs.

3. Action Steps

Break down actions on how to ACHIEVE solution.

Seek input. Build a partnership between employee and his/her manager. Delegate to whom and define “why”.

For example: I am going to hold my Supervisors accountable by finding out what is going on, from that discussion I will come up with plan to develop and support my supervisors, by delegating tasks I can also grow and develop my team so they are not bored with routine tasks.

4. Goal

The RESULT of demonstrating the skill.

Discuss rewards-both physical and intrinsic. Identify areas of opportunity.

For example: I can empower my employees by delegating tasks and developing my supervisors. If I empower my employees they will be happy in their jobs and stay with us. When employees are happy, are customers will be happy which leads to higher sales!!

Each of these areas should be discussed and completed together-both you and the employee agreeing on the answers.  These crucial conversations and follow-up documentation will go far in ensuring that mystery shops are used as an effective method of service and employee development!

CSE has created a Coaching Guide and Action Plan to help guide you through these crucial conversations.  Download it below and begin your employee coaching development journey to success now!

Coaching Guide Action Plan CTA