Lesson 7 Activity

You have been asked to become a "mystery shopper" for a major food retailer. Mystery shoppers are people who pretend to be regular customers, but in fact are shopping for the purpose of observing the behavior of store employees and rating specific behavioral indicators. Mystery shoppers remain incognito so the employee cannot alter his or her behavior for the purpose of the evaluation.


Take a trip to your local grocery store and record your observations on the following service components:

1. Availability

Having enough quality products and staff in the store.

2. Speed and Efficiency

Reducing time spent in lines. Being accurate and doing jobs well.

3. Friendly and Helpful

Interacting with customers in a positive way, including extending friendly greetings and using customers' names. Going out of the way to help customer, including; carry out service, customer friendly return and payment authorization policies, etc.

4. Knowledgeable

Knowing where products are located in the store, knowing codes and prices, and being able to answer frequent product questions.

Record Your Answers

Store Name: __________________ Store Name:____________________

Date of Visit: _________________ Time of Visit:___________________

1. Walk around in the center aisles of the store and look for the peanut butter. Pretend that you cannot locate the product and ask a store clerk for help.

Rate availability of staff: Was it easy or difficult to find a clerk in the store to ask for the peanut butter aisle?

Difficult 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Easy

Rate friendliness of clerk: How friendly was the clerk in answering your question?

Difficult 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Easy

Rate helpfulness of clerk: Did the clerk immediately know the correct number for the peanut butter aisle?

Yes No

2. You have now found the shelves with the peanut butter.

Rate the availability of the product and selection: How many different brands and types (within a brand) of peanut butter does the store carry ? What different sizes does the store carry? Fill in the brand name, type and available size.
Brand 1: Name Types 

    Sizes available:
Brand 2: Name Types 

    Sizes available:
Brand 3: Name Types 

    Sizes available:


3. It is time to go in line to pay for your purchase. Sorry folks, you will need to make a purchase here to become a real mystery shopper!

Rate the speed and efficiency: How many lines are open? How many customers are waiting in each line?
Number of lines open:
Number of customers waiting in each line:

4. Choose the shortest line to pay for your purchases.

Rate the speed and efficiency: Record, in minutes/seconds, how long you wait in line. Rate accuracy of the food clerk.
Number of minutes/seconds waiting time:
Rate friendliness and helpfulness: Did the food clerk extend greetings and exhibit a friendly/pleasant attitude?
Unfriendly 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Friendly