PCP's clients range from multinational companies to small companies without a research or marketing department.


PCP has worked for clients across a wide range of markets and industry sectors.


Read about the latest research we have conducted for our clients.

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Mystery Shopping Services

Mystery shoppingMystery shopping is invaluable for all companies whose staff have direct contact with members of the public. The customer service experience is one area of the marketing mix in which increasingly organisations seek to differentiate their offering from that of their competitors and the manner in which staff interact with the customer is of critical importance.

How mystery shopping can be used

Mystery shopping allows customer service or other aspects of customer experience to be evaluated and allows organisations to identify where and how improvements can be made.

Evaluation of the customer experience might typically include not only staff interaction but other aspects of the customer experience such as office tidiness or ease of access, length of time on hold during a telephone call and time spent waiting in queues.

Planning for mystery shopping

In order to ensure that the behaviour of real customers is replicated as closely as possible, a key first stage is to review how contact with the client is typically made and how for example enquiries are made and how orders are placed.

This usually includes visiting outlets/branches, listening to telephone conversations between customers and members of staff as well as detailed discussion with our clients.

  • Scenarios are developed in conjunction with the client.

  • A range of scenarios is used to ensure that too much emphasis is not placed on any one type of enquiry.

  • Mystery shoppers are carefully selected so that their characteristics match the requirements of the project.

  • Mystery shoppers are thoroughly briefed for each scenario, with role playing used to ensure that they develop the capacity to “think on their feet”.

  • Observations are recorded using a carefully designed, structured and objective scoring system.

  • Telephone calls are usually recorded to minimise the reliance on memory when assessing the results.

  • Dedicated mobile phone numbers are used for call-backs to avoid identification of mystery shoppers.

  • All telephone enquiries are marked centrally, using the recordings of the calls, to ensure consistency of assessment.

Using mystery shopping to inform staff training and development

Mystery shopping interviews conducted over the telephone which are recorded for the purposes of marking and quality control can often prove of additional benefit when used in the training of both new and experienced staff. PCP often attend or run training sessions around the results.

We find that constructive criticism is frequently more readily accepted when it is provided by an independent organisation.

PCP’s ‘Golden Rules’ of Mystery Shopping

We have developed a number of  “Golden Rules” which are relevant to the great majority of the mystery shopping work we conduct. They include:

  • Do not volunteer information unnecessarily. Wait to be asked.

  • Keep options open in the responses given so that staff are allowed the opportunity to offer associated services or products.

  • Stick to the truth as far as possible.

  • Be consistent in approach and manner for each call/visit made.

Our experience

PCP have successfully carried out mystery shopping for a wide variety of organisations in both the public and private sector. Mystery shopping clients have included:

  • RetailersMystery Shopping

  • Leisure centres

  • Night clubs

  • Estate agents

  • Police authorities

  • Business service providers

  • Automotive parts suppliers

  • Housing organizations

  • Financial services companies

To explore further take a look at the Examples of Our Work.

If you would like to discuss your mystery shopping requirements you can Contact Us directly or complete the Enquiry Form and we will be pleased to contact you.