Mystery Shopping

Call centre Mystery Shopping is essentially fake calls made by paid professionals to simulate a customer enquiry for the purpose of assessment.

So why do call centre Mystery Shopping?

Much like Mystery Shopping conducted in retail stores, call centre mystery shopping is to check that the actual customer experience is in line with the planned customer experience.

Whilst coaching and your own internal quality programs should be used to manage quality, mystery shopping simply adds another dimension to the quality equation.

So how does call centre Mystery Shopping work?

There are professional organisations that specialise in conducting call centre mystery shopping programs (You can find them in the free CX Directory) and they will help design a program that works for you.

In designing the right program, some points you should consider include:

  • How many calls do you want to be assessed?
  • How many scenarios do you need to design scripts for?
  • What if as part of the testing a case needs to be logged? Can that be removed later?
  • Are there different times of the day or different routes you need the Mystery shopper to test?
  • What is the actual criteria you want them to test against? The call centre agents skill, how long it took to be connected, the accuracy of the information provided, whether a follow up was made etc.

A word of caution with Mystery Shopping

Like the retail programs, it’s critical that the Mystery Shopping remains anonymous and unable to be detected as a Mystery Shopper.

As soon as their cover is blown, the results are unreliable.

As you can tell by the dot points above, there is a lot to consider in setting up a Mystery Shopping program and despite what some suppliers may tell you, conducting a Mystery Shopping program for a call centre is very different than retail.

We have a couple of Mystery Shopping suppliers we would recommend that have experience in call centres  – use the free CX Connect service and we will introduce you đŸ™‚

Finally, don’t just use Mystery Shopping as the only check for the quality of service you provide.

Statistically, it is very difficult (and expensive) to mystery shop a large volume of calls.

Rather, Mystery Shopping should form a component of your overall quality program.

If you’d like some ideas on how to improve the CX in your business we have a bunch of articles on this topic you can read here.


Most call centre mystery shopping providers will typically provide a range of comprehensive reports on hard metrics (e.g. how long they were on hold for) through to a rating on the performance of the agent and everything in between.

They can also provide actual call recordings as well.

Like all things, just make sure you are clear with your expectations upfront.

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