Mystery Shopping

Kinēsis' profit-based approach to mystery shopping is designed to both measure and motivate sales and service behaviors that drive the customer experience in a profitable way.

Research has determined that an employee’s contribution to revenue increases with the length of employment. Typically, the relationship between an employee’s revenue contribution and his/her tenure is similar to the curve below; this line is the Profit Contribution/Tenure curve.

An intelligent mystery shopping program can shift this curve to resemble one similar to the purple line above, increasing the rate at which employees achieve positive revenue contribution. This is achieved by identifying opportunities that occur in the employee’s revenue curve. These opportunities include:

  • Developing profit-based service standards linked to both customer expectations and profitability.
  • Reducing costs by identifying and motivating profit-based sales and service behaviors of frontline staff.
  • Maximizing early-stage revenue growth by aligning employees with your service standards and customer expectations.
  • Delaying the slowdown of revenue growth by identifying what best motivates each employee and continuing to motivate profit-based service and sales behaviors.

Mystery Shopping Objectives

Kinēsis’ profit-based approach to mystery shopping identifies profitable service strategies and reinforcing them within the company. Unlike services that provide you with data and no way to use it, Kinēsis delivers customized information that can inform and guide your sales operation.

This information is the result of a process that begins with questions. Managers of sales and service organizations need answers to challenging research questions. The table below lists just some of the questions our clients ask themselves and the information that we provide them. How many of these questions relate to your sales/service operation?


When Our Clients Want to Know…

Kinēsis Helps Them…

How well do our employees meet our service standards? Align shopping programs with company service standards.
How well do our standards meet the service expectations of our customers? Align company standards with customer expectations.
How can we coach or motivate employees to meet service standards? Align employees with service standards.
How have customers’ experiences with our company’s service changed over time? Track improvement and maintain a consistent customer experience over time.
How does customers’ experience with retail service influence their intention to make a purchase? Identify service standards and behaviors that will drive purchase behaviors and maximize ROI of the customer experience.

Use the customer experience as a driver of profitability.
What causes our customers to have positive or negative shopping experiences? Obtain actionable information to improve the customer experience.
How well does our customer service compare to that of competitors throughout our industry? Benchmark their customer service against the competition.
Which employees and stores provide the best service? Generate the most revenue? Identify leaders or role models within their service organization.

Make strategic decisions about resource allocation.
Would these employees and operations be effective role models? How would we know? Position top performers as role models and use their experience throughout the organization.
What combination of training, compensation, or other investment results in the largest increases in per-employee revenue? Manage the customer experience from a global context to maximize ROI.


You probably noticed that each question is answered not by data but by a business process, which can be improved. We work with you to identify research objectives most important to your brand. Then, we use our extensive technical resources, proprietary analytical methods, and years of consulting experience to help you identify the service strategies most likely to meet those objectives. Finally, we report the information that can help you develop and reinforce the service strategies that maximize your company’s revenue potential.

Profit-Based Mystery Shopping Analysis

Proprietary Kinēsis profit-based analytical tools are built into Kinesis’ mystery shopping programs. The specific analytical tools chosen depend on your specific requirements. However, in general, our profit-based analysis evaluates the customer experience from both customer and business unit perspectives.

By using proprietary mechanisms built into Kinēsis mystery shop design, we can correlate specific behaviors (such as purchase intent and loyalty) observed in the mystery shop evaluation with profitable customer behaviors. We also determine which elements of the customer experience are key drivers of these profitable customer behaviors.

This approach helps you to focus your training, coaching incentives, and other motivational tools directly on the elements of the customer experience that will produce the largest return on investment. Our analytical methods confirm whether your mystery shop program is aligned with customer expectations and measures the elements most important to the customer experience.

Purchase Intent Analysis:

Although results vary from industry to industry and client-to-client, using our proprietary purchase intent analysis, we generally find that the dimensions of the customer experience that most commonly correlate with increased purchase intent and loyalty are empathy (the caring, individualized attention a firm provides its customers) and assurance (the knowledge, courtesy of employees, and their ability to convey trust and confidence).

Same-Store Sales Analysis:

Shifting from the customer to the business unit perspective, we can correlate service behaviors and mystery shopping scores to specific key business unit metrics such as same-store sales growth. This approach can help you understand how the key customer-level drivers identified previously can translate into quantifiable ROI.

Although results vary across industries and clients, we find that same-store sales growth tends to be about 25-percent greater in stores with consistently higher frequencies of the behaviors associated with empathy and assurance than stores with low frequencies of these behaviors.


A truly comprehensive Customer Experience Management system deals with many interlocking points of alignment. Among the most important are:

  • Company message with customer expectations
  • Customer expectations with company standards
  • Company standards with training content
  • Training content with front-line execution
  • Front-line execution with rewards and incentives