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Do mystery shoppers really predict customer satisfaction and sales performance?


Blessing, Gerald; Natter, Martin (2019). Do mystery shoppers really predict customer satisfaction and sales performance? Journal of Retailing, 95(3):47-62.

Abstract

Mystery shopping (MS) is a widely used tool to monitor the quality of service and personal selling. In consultative retail settings, assessments of mystery shoppers are supposed to capture the most relevant aspects of salespeople’s service and sales behavior. Given the important conclusions drawn by managers from MS results, the standard assumption seems to be that assessments of mystery shoppers are strongly related to customer satisfaction and sales performance. However, surprisingly scant empirical evidence supports this assumption. We test the relationship between MS assessments and customer evaluations and sales performance with large-scale data from three service retail chains. Surprisingly, we do not find a substantial correlation. The results show that mystery shoppers are not good proxies for real customers. While MS assessments are not related to sales, our findings confirm the established correlation between customer satisfaction measurements and sales results.

Abstract

Mystery shopping (MS) is a widely used tool to monitor the quality of service and personal selling. In consultative retail settings, assessments of mystery shoppers are supposed to capture the most relevant aspects of salespeople’s service and sales behavior. Given the important conclusions drawn by managers from MS results, the standard assumption seems to be that assessments of mystery shoppers are strongly related to customer satisfaction and sales performance. However, surprisingly scant empirical evidence supports this assumption. We test the relationship between MS assessments and customer evaluations and sales performance with large-scale data from three service retail chains. Surprisingly, we do not find a substantial correlation. The results show that mystery shoppers are not good proxies for real customers. While MS assessments are not related to sales, our findings confirm the established correlation between customer satisfaction measurements and sales results.

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4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
08 Research Priority Programs > Social Networks
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Marketing
Language:English
Date:1 September 2019
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 14:20
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-4359
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2019.04.001
Official URL:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022435919300211
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:18002

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