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What Do Your Mystery Shopping Scores Mean?

What Do Your Mystery Shopping Scores Mean?

When mystery shopping your stores, the areas that you measure and the questions you ask largely affect your scores - so it's crucial to make sure you're asking/measuring the right ones. If you aren't, you might be achieving high scores but interpreting the meaning of those scores incorrectly. 

To avoid this, it's essential that you know how to read your results and what to take away from them.

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In this blog, we'll discuss the value behind mystery shopping scores and what they mean for your business.

High Scores

When reviewing mystery shopping results, operators want to see high scores - interpreting those scores to mean that their teams are performing well. But, beware of achieving high scores so quickly; sometimes these scores don't have the same meaning that you think they do.

Often times, high scores can indicate that you’re asking the wrong questions. Assuming that you’ve implemented a mystery shopping program in order to measure your team performance, and likely have some specific areas you want to evaluate - high scores could mean that you’re asking questions you already know the answer to.

Alternatively, when scores are excessively high it can mean that you need to measure another area of your operations. While you may not have previously known the answer to the questions you asked, such high scores right off the bat can indicate that you will benefit more from learning about the performance of another part of your operations.

Look for aspects of your business where you’re underperforming, or aren’t aware of your performance. For example, if store cleanliness is consistently scoring very high, start measuring something else like customer service.

Standard Scores

In order to get the most from your mystery shopping program, you need to identify that you’re measuring the right areas, so you can understand what your scores should be. The determining factors in understanding the legitimacy of your scores are whether or not there’s been a change in patterns with customers, or increases in customer service or customer loyalty. Without any of these positive changes, it’s possible that you might have a false high score.

Unlike most test results or scoring, mystery shopping scores should always be very high - of course, this is only applicable after you've confirmed that you're measuring the right areas. As opposed to indicating excellent, stellar performance, high scores indicate that stores are performing simply as they should be. A standard mystery shopping score should always be a high score of around 90 to 95%.

When all of your stores start achieving these scores, it becomes your new average, meaning you now want to push to do even better. Achieving over 95% means that your teams are exceeding expectations and going above and beyond to please customers and maintain company values.


Managing your mystery shops and reviewing performance is an important factor in determining areas of improvement and coming up with new aspects of your business to evaluate. Before getting too excited, remember to be weary of high scores, and continually re-evaluate the questions you’re asking. Ensure that your teams are performing adequately and up to standard, while using your scores to drive improvements and encourage teams to go the extra mile to outperform the competition.



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