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Mystery Customer Research | Mystery Shopper

“Mystery shopping = measuring service quality, performance, and the customer's experience.” – Mystery Shopping Providers Association

What is a Mystery Shopper?

Mystery Shopper is a term used to describe covert assessors, who posing as a customer, experience and objectively report on the service of a company or establishment. The key is not to criticise from a personal level, but to produce factual reports that will be of benefit to any organisation that wants to improve its service.

Mystery Shoppers vs Genuine Customers

Mystery Shoppers

Genuine customers

Capture customer experience across the board from positive to negative

More likely to report if they have a particularly positive or negative experience. Are unlikely to mention if the experience is “average”

Are trained to make assessments objectively and not be influenced by previous experience

Are biased: Previous experience or preference might influence their feedback.

Assesses whether all stages of the customer journey are as they should be

Might only experience one portion of the customer journey


Mystery Shopping is not a full time profession. You can do as much or as little as you want to; you should fit mystery shops around your daily routine.

At TNS our panel carries out two types of assessment:

  • Mystery Shops - Shoppers pose as genuine customers, reflecting a scenario or niche customer need, to covertly assess the typical customer experience.
  • Announced Audits - Shoppers openly announce their presence in stores/outlets to assess compliance of store design, product displays, POS presence etc., against brand merchandising guidelines. 

How do I become a Mystery Shopper?

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

So what are you waiting for? 


Sign up to the panel here


Complete account application and induction test


After full account activation, self-allocate your first visit


Receive visit specific briefing


Complete your first visit!


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