Need loyalty? It’s not a mystery

With the trend of loyalty programmes, discounts and offers, you could be fooled in to thinking customer loyalty can only be earned with offering something for free. But that is not necessarily the case – providing excellent customer service is what the customer really wants.

loyalty cards

But how do a management team ensure this is happening in each and every store when they can’t go ‘back to the floor’ every day? This is where mystery shopping can come to the rescue!

Mystery shopping in its basic form gives companies objective feedback on the service being offered to their customers but it can do so much more.

Programmes can be set up to look at particular areas of concern whether that be the taste of food at a restaurant, the cleanliness of facilities at a gym or the follow up process at a bank. Each individual company will have areas which affect satisfaction and therefore customer loyalty and mystery shopping can be tailored to look at these.

Although the basic results are useful to have, they can really help customer loyalty when they are acted upon. By identifying issues and developing action plans to be implemented back at customer level, management can fix problems and improve the service for their customers, which in turn will result in return customer visits. Adopting this on a regular cycle will ensure service remains consistently high and any issues are identified and acted upon quickly before any negative impact on ‘real’ customers.


A continuous mystery shopping programme has a final benefit related to customer loyalty. If an employee is watched on a particular day by a manager they will no doubt do everything by the book, but then go back to their old ways. However, when staff know there is a programme in place, they will provide a continuous higher level of service as they don’t know which customer is the mystery shopper. Result – happier customers

To find out more about Tern’s Mystery Shopping Services, visit our mystery shopping page.

So before jumping to a discount or loyalty card, companies should think about service as the driver for loyalty and how mystery shopping can really be used as an effective tool for managing customer experience and building customer loyalty.