Net Promoter Score & Mystery Shops: Is there a Disconnect?


More and more, companies will incorporate the Net Promoter Score at the end of their mystery shopping report. This is a valuable gauge of customer satisfaction, and I can see why companies use it on their reports. However, I do think at times there are misperceptions about the rating and what it all means.


Mystery shoppers are evaluating your business from an operational, objective standpoint. Companies provide key performance indicators and shoppers base their report on this criteria.


Enter Net Promoter Score- this is typically one of the last questions on the mystery shopping report, and companies ask shoppers to rate their experience from 0-10 and if they would recommend the location to others. This question is more customer-oriented and subjective than the others, and can appear misleading.


Consider this example: on a simple retail shop, the mystery shopper reports that the employee didn’t wear a name tag, didn’t suggest the store’s credit card during the transaction, and didn’t attempt to upsell to a more expensive item. Because it is such a simple report, not doing these three tasks lowers the score fairly significantly. However, the shopper gave a NPS of 9 or 10 because the employee was knowledgeable, assistance was quick, and the shopper felt like a valued customer.


In this case,the company could wonder how the mystery shopper provided a report with a low performance percentage, yet the NPS was pretty high. Was the shopper not paying attention? Were they being “too nice” in their scoring?


Nope. They are responding to this question from the eyes of a customer. While your company expects staff to do X,Y, and Z, it may very well be that the lack of doing these things does not have an adverse impact on a customer’s perception of your business, plain and simple.


Because a high NPS can inflate a performance percentage on a mystery shopping report, it is advised to not “score” this question and keep it as informational only when companies opt to have this question as part of the report. This way they are getting a true perception of the operational performance of staff while also getting the additional data from a more subjective point of view.


Companies want to make the most of their programming, and incorporating NPS is one additional way to gauge customer satisfaction. However, it needs to be used properly and the appropriate mindset  needs to be front and center when incorporating this into a mystery shopping program.



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