Having written service standards that are communicated to your employees and incorporated into your corporate culture is good. There’s no doubt what you expect your team to deliver at every customer touch point.

Having a mystery evaluation program that provides objective and subjective feedback on your team’s actual service delivery is great. You recognize that mystery evaluation is a critical tool in identifying gaps in your service promise and its actual delivery.

But not having a plan to recognize and coach your team based on the results can seriously undermine your program’s effectiveness and ROI.

Test your post-mystery-evaluation acumen by answering this one question.

The results from your mystery evaluation program are in! Most everyone did okay, but one person did great and got a 100% perfect evaluation. Do you:

A) Do nothing. You wait to see if the next reports improve as a result of mystery evaluation. Mystery Evaluation improves customer service delivery right?

B) Put the employee with the 100% evaluations in the middle of the room and bark, “Why can’t you all be like Patty here? Just watch her and do what she does. That is all. Back to work.”

C) Ask the people with the lowest scores to come and stand in the circle of shame (something you just implemented for this occasion), requiring them to remain there for the rest of the meeting despite them being directly in line of marketing’s PowerPoint presentation. You stand firm. Marketing can take a hike.

D) Gather your employees together and give them an overview of how the group as a whole did. Recognize those that received a 100% evaluation appropriately and then arrange for one-on-one coaching sessions to review the reports with those who were evaluated.


A. Wrong. Although doing nothing is an obvious management favorite, mystery evaluation only improves service delivery if it is followed up with effective coaching and appropriate recognition.

B. Wrong. In every office, the very second you mention there will be an opportunity to be recognized as perfect, someone lights up like a Girl Scout with a monopoly on Samoans. For argument’s sake, let’s call her Patty. Patty with her perfect attendance and sunshine colored hair. Her voice sounds like rainbows and her idea of casual Fridays is leaving her pearls at home. The problem is this – no one wants to be Patty. They all resent her. So singling her out in this fashion may have the opposite effect of what you want.

C. Wrong. Public humiliation, once a great crowd pleaser in many colonial town squares, has gone out of favor – especially with HR. Yes, public flogging, pillories, and scarlet letters have given way to more corporately civilized means of behavior modification. Please see Section 3, Sub-section A, page 76 of your employee handbook.

D. Correct. Your employees should be informed about your mystery evaluation program from the very beginning. This enforces the company’s commitment to its service standards, sets clear expectations of team performance and allows you to share your goal for the program – doesn’t everyone want to work for a place invested in its improvement? Those with perfect evaluations should be recognized for a job well in a way that inspires the rest of the team. One-on-one coaching should be done immediately with a strong focus on what they did right and tips for how they can improve. Be sure to meet on a regular basis. No one wants to get a 100% evaluation in the month you decide to skip the meeting.

Need help drafting a recognition and coaching program to complement your mystery evaluation program? Contact Electrum Branding to assist you with this vital component of the customer experience measurement process.