Performance in People - Mystery Shopping

Website, Email & Live Chat Mystery Shopping

Website Mystery Shopping,  Email and Live Chat Mystery Shopping is essential in understanding your customers’ online experience of your company.

Performance in People can provide vital information regarding the experiences of demographic range customers making enquiries by email or visiting your website, from initial search engine location to website navigation, page accessing, making an enquiry, through to product ordering, checkout, order fulfilment and returns. 

Website Mystery Shopping

Our web-based mystery shopping programmes involve evaluating a client’s web experience from a customer’s perspective. Often this process will be performed in conjunction with the concurrent analysis of core competitor websites. The process typically involves setting a brief for our panel of assessors to investigate specific products, services and information. 

Email Mystery Shopping


Our email mystery shopping programme comprises emailing an enquiry to each nominated outlet or central facility. PiP utilises thousands of email addresses across numerous different domains to avoid detection. Contact can be made either by direct email or via the client website.

Live Chat Mystery Shopping


Through live chat mystery shopping, PiP will assess the digital customer experience and processes delivered by your teams in line with your service standards and expectations. Live chat mystery shopping provides insight into the quality, accuracy and timeliness of responses along with testing the technical ability and functionality of the online chat system, from a customer’s point of view.

Test Drive Reporting Platform Module »

Reporting with appropriate screen shots are available via Performance in People’s online reporting platform provides, which also provides full performance analysis including drill down and traffic light indicators, as well as a range of applications to drive programme engagement, action planning and performance improvement.

Want to know more?

If you would like further information or a deeper understanding of what Mystery Shopping is, please email our enquiries team:

  • Steinhoff
    Performance in People (PiP) has been working closely with the Steinhoff Group to improve customer experience across their two UK brands, Bensons for Beds and Harveys. Steinhoff recognise that customer service is key to success and since starting their programme with us in July 2016, the results of Video Mystery Shop combined with the award winning Behavioural Measurement Score® (BMS®) has provided an invaluable insight into the levels of service received.   
    The Steinhoff group was founded in 1964 by Bruno Steinhoff in Westerstede, Germany. It is now one of the top five furniture groups in Europe who manufactures, warehouses, retails and distributes a wide range of household goods (mainly within the lounge, dining and bedroom sectors) as well as raw materials used primarily in manufacturing these household goods. Steinhoff own more than 70 factories spanning the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. Employing over 50,000 staff globally, Steinhoff are a major player in the global furniture economy.
    We’ve had mystery shopping programmes within the business previously but PiP’s offering, particularly the insight BMS® provides, has given us a deeper understanding of how we can positively influence customer experience everyday in every interaction across our retail estate. This coupled with PiP’s emphasis on equipping front line managers and featured team members with impactful coaching resources has helped create a workforce that is more aware than ever of how to really connect with our customers and their needs.
    Alex Skelt, Learning and Development Manager
  • Halifax Bank of Scotland

    “We decided to look around at a number of different training consultancies. We wanted someone that matched our requirements, both in terms of our culture, our passion, our enthusiasm and we stumbled upon, through recommendation by Visa, Performance in People. 

    As soon as we met Performance in People we knew that we’d got the right people – they certainly matched our expectations, and it was all about developing the training needs analysis and so on. Now, we have had a magnificent relationship with these guys, going forward, and it really has benefited all of us. 

    The benefits that we have had, some of them we expected, but some of the other benefits we didn’t expect. We didn’t expect people to look forward so much to the training events themselves. We thought they would see that as a bit of a chore, and that they would come away from these things having learnt a few things…the percentages are, I think, you remember 10% of what you learn on a training course. 

    Through working with PiP but also through using with our own training coaches, we’ve seen that retention of knowledge just be sky high, because of the events themselves, because of the commitments that we’ve made to affirming that knowledge after the event, and we hope to continue that relationship with PiP going forward for a considerable amount of time.”

    Stephen Webster, Head of Customer Services, Personal Lending, HBOS (Halifax-Bank of Scotland)

  • Argos

    Performance in People launched a highly comprehensive and engaging mystery shopping programme, which has had a significant impact on Argos customer service standards.

    “First and foremost are how professional Performance in Peopleis and their attention to detail. Mystery Shopping has improved performance within Argos, and certainly from a customer service angle, by some fantastic measures. The information and reporting side of the PIP platform is really detailed. Far and away the most powerful thing we have done in most recent times to help improve customer service within Argos stores.”

    Matt Brooks, Client Services Manager, Argos

  • B&Q

    Performance in People embarked on a training and development venture for the sales departments of kitchens, bathrooms, and conservatories within B&Q. 

    “We chose ‘PiP’ above their competitors, as they were renowned for the expertise in the field of mystery shopping through covert operation; together with their ability to put their findings into training and development and hence drive business results. …they produced a rigorous sales and service training package evolving from what they had witnessed through mystery shopping a large selection of our stores. They did this by writing a two day training workshop that they trained into our Sales Support Managers, who in turn delivered it to our in store sales people; through effective coaching ‘one to one’ from PiP employees.

    The net results were outstanding, as we witnessed significant revenue and profit increases year on year over a two-year period. In addition to this, we also experienced a vast increase in market share, which saw us grow from third to first in the U.K. for kitchen project business.”

    Mat Morgan, Sales Development Team, B&Q PLC

    “We have a really great relationship with Performance in People. The products they offer are really high quality and the best I have seen in the market. The programmes that PiP ran for B&Q have had a great impact on the business. We have seen an increase in average order value within Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms and an increase in conversions from leads to sales, so good results!”  

    Becky Woodward, Head of Leadership & Management Development, B&Q PLC

  • Mercedes

    Mercedes have recognized for some years, the benefits that a properly planned mystery shopping programme can bring to their organization, explains John Fossey Sales Development manager for Mercedes Car Group. ‘What we were looking for, was to take our mystery shopping programme to the next level, to add real value in terms of performance measurement and sustainable improvements in the customer experience’. Mercedes Car Group undertook a comprehensive tender selection process to find the most appropriate supplier.

    "We selected PiP for several key reasons, firstly we already knew that they had a wealth of experience in running high volume programmes, when we visited their premises, we could see how they had developed their own technology infrastructure to provide highly refined processes and quality standards, that really fitted with us as an organizational. In addition their proposal centered on fulfilling two key criteria, initially developing a bespoke web-reporting platform that provided seamless accessibility for appropriate personnel to all mystery shopping data, being able to review telephone calls, complete action planning and provide a suite of consolidated reporting, all available online. This facility also integrated with our centralized training function identifying training needs and ensuring implementation. Secondly PiP focused on the need to translate mystery shopping output into real changes in staff behaviour. This was achieved by delivering coaching skills training to all our sales managers together with a prescribed mechanism for reviewing the mystery shopping activity. The key to consistent improvement was through ensuring a consistent review process, not just for the staff featured within the mystery shop, but as a learning tool for all customer facing staff within each retailer."

    John Fossey, Sales Development Manager, Mercedes Car Group

  • Volvo

    Performance in People, specialists at measuring and improving customer service and sales performance skills, has announced a programme with Volvo Car UK Ltd.

    Performance in People was hired by the car manufacturer to undertake an extensive mystery shopping and dealer coaching programme. It embarked on a range of mystery shopping programmes across Volvo's UK dealer network to measure and develop the behaviour required to deliver a better customer experience. In addition, it has organised a coaching programme to develop sales teams and managers to improve the customer experience. 

    "This has been a very exciting programme. Volvo wasn't just interested in measuring performance standards, they were committed to achieving sustainable changes in behaviours.

    To achieve this we had to go to the heart of all dealerships and transfer coaching capabilities in how to recognise, encourage and develop all levels of sales and service performance. Combining a mystery shopping programme with coaching for Volvo's managers has meant translating the company's highly successful P.R.I.D.E. service standards into measurable structured reporting, so delivering a robust, credible programme that provides high quality and accurate material for the newly empowered coaches to work with." 

     Mike Dalloz, Managing Director, Performance in People.

    "For Volvo here in the UK thinking ahead about what matters most to our customers is a unique opportunity for us define our customer experience & differentiate our brand in the market place.
    We have used PIP's video mystery shopping for a number of years during which time we have looked to refine our approach; moving from compliance  to delivering a coaching tool that adds insight & focus throughout our organisation. We continue to find ways of using mystery shopping to support our network development not only  at an operational level, but also by making links to our Leadership development programmes, customer journey design and product offerings.
    Video mystery shopping allows us to see ourselves through the eyes of our customers; not only helping us get the basics right, but also by identifying the emotional triggers required to truly understand what our customers want."
    Simon Parrott, Retail Quality & Customer Experience Manager

    Following on from the success of the coaching programme for sales managers, Volvo have extended the programme to all aftersales managers.

  • General Motors

    Performance in People beat off stiff competition to win the prestigious account having proposed a fully integrated programme that would measure and develop the customer service and sales performance levels across all of Vauxhall's UK retailers. Most importantly, the programme emphasizes on both improving new customer acquisition and existing customer relationships. The main body of the programme utilizes Video Mystery Shopping activities (this is where assessors visit retailers posing as customers; their experiences are captured via state of the art hidden video cameras and provided back to each retailer to improve sales and service standards). With 55% of human communication conveyed through body language, Video Mystery Shopping is a key element in monitoring, measuring and evaluating experiences against prescribed standards or promises of a company like Vauxhall. 

    Unlike any other service, Video Mystery Shopping allows team members to review their performance, allowing a much deeper recognition and understanding of customer service performance, and so creating sustainable changes in staff behaviour.

    "It was clear from the start that Vauxhall were not going to compromise on this programme. They have a very clear objective in mind and that is firstly to ensure that every individual that interacts with their retailers (whether by visiting, telephoning or electronically) has an exceptional customer experience, and secondly, to ensure that best practice sales techniques are being adopted to maximize sales conversions.

    It's great to see such an influential automotive company going to such lengths to ensure flawless customer service across their network. The introduction of a comprehensive mystery shopping programme demonstrates Vauxhall's dedication to their customers and their determination to provide the best service.”

    Mike Dalloz, Managing Director, Performance in People

    Vauxhall's partnership with Performance in People clearly shows their desire to take the company to the next level of service, by developing its customer service potential:

    “It is important that existing customers and new prospective customers have a great experience when they come into our retailers and we want to guarantee that our customer service is not only exceptional on the forecourt and in the showroom, but that our after sales service is just as effective when handling service enquiries. Performance in People is a perfect fit for us. Their experience in the industry meant they really understood our needs. This, combined with an impressive use of technologies to provide highly refined systems and processes, ensured that we are getting the highest quality output together with industry leading online reporting capabilities.”

    Paul Franklin-Slattery, Retailer Relationship Manager, GM UK & Ireland

  • Virgin Media

    Performance in People have worked with Virgin Media for a number of years delivering a range of mystery shopping, performance improvement activities and training programmes.

    “I’ve worked with numerous suppliers over the years within other businesses that I have worked for and I rate Performance in People as definitely the best. They are always looking to improve the programme and always receptive to new ideas. I think the way that they work is very hands on, we work very closely together. The way that the whole programme is managed from start to finish is really positive.”

    James Coleman Tye, Talent & Development Lead Business Partner at Virgin Media

    “PiP have worked hard to ensure our internal trainers are comfortable and confident in the delivery of Continue & Begin Fast Coaching. Their enthusiasm and attention to detail have ensured we feel capable as a business to really make a difference using fast coaching. The positive impact Continue & Begin is having in Virgin Media is already shining through. Managers and coaches are focussing on behavioural coaching rather than the traditional technical coaching and is reaping great benefits. The support PiP offer on an on-going basis will ensure the impact the model is having will continue. Continue & Begin is part of our DNA now and long may that continue.”

    Simon Connolly, Head of Training & Development at Virgin Media

  • Mitsubishi Motors
    Mitsubishi Motors in the UK is Performance in People’s (PiP’s) longest standing client and has been working together since 2002! Originally starting with a small telephone mystery shop programme, we now provide today a comprehensive range of services across their sales and aftersales divisions. Customer experience measures include: video, telephone, email mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys.
    A key focus for the Management team at Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has been on ‘Excellent Service’ and with the specific needs of customers of its off-road and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK recognise that their key point of differentiation is to provide all of their customers, staff and associates with Excellent Service. Therefore, this is a priority for Mitsubishi not only today but also moving forwards when ever-more advanced and exciting vehicles will see more and more customers choosing a Mitsubishi vehicle.
    Sharon Townsend, General Manager - Service, commented,
    "It has been amazing to have PiP as part of the Mitsubishi family for the last 15 years. They have helped us to nurture our feedback mechanisms to give us a complete view of the Mitsubishi Customer Experience.  Using the many tools that they provide, we continue to provide Excellent Service to all our customers and we are proud to display these results as dealer star ratings on our website”.
  • ProTyre

    "Having established a good operational discipline in my business that was performing in line with the market I was looking for the ‘X Factor’ that would move my business to the next level. I believed that I had the right people in my team and that ultimately they would be the ones would make the difference. They were technically good and very disciplined but we lacked the X Factor and we did not have full commitment at all levels.

    Working with PiP and in particular the Continue and Begin® coaching model we have made very significant progress. We have far greater ownership of issues at all levels and real commitment to improve our performance. It is not uncommon to hear comments like 'The Continue and Begin® coaching tool has changed my life both inside and outside of work!"

    Our business results have improved in a very tough market and I am certain that our involvement with PiP has been a key factor."

    Simon Hiorns, Retail Director

  • Arco
    Arco has started a new venture with Performance in People in the delivery of their customer experience improvement methodologies. Performance in People work closely with Arco to measure and develop their sales, service and customer experience performance.
    Arco is a fourth generation; family owned business committed to keeping people safe at work. Arco works with organisations to keep their workplaces safe and compliant. They have been putting people first for 125 years. That's why they pride themselves in being the Experts in Safety.
    The Arco Company has grown from a small venture in Hull to become the UK's largest distributor of safety and maintenance products. Their National Distribution Centre holds an impressive 22,000 products and with a network of 41 branches covering the UK and Ireland, Arco ensure that their customers can get what they need when they need it.
    ''We may be a small channel within the overall business but we all work as a team, we get the job done, give our customers a great experience and have some fun doing it!.''
    Mike Kennedy, Trade Counters-Merchandise Manager, Arco 
    Arco hold an annual National Sales Conference, the most recent being in the Magna Science and Adventure Centre in Rotherham. Everyone in the Arco sales channel attended the conference, from their joint Managing Director’s, Chairman, Sales Managers and Account Managers! The theme for the all-day event was ‘At the Movies’… can you guess the movie? Some of these Minions pictured below include Trade Counter Managers and Area Managers for the North and South Regions.
    Performance in People (PiP) is delighted to share that we have been working with PANDORA to improve customer experience across their network through the use of Video Mystery Shopping.
    “By introducing the Behavioural Measurement Score® into our Mystery Shopping programme at PANDORA, it has allowed us to distinguish between the actual steps within the Mystery Shopping programme, and the way in which those steps are delivered. We don’t want it to be a ‘ticking the box’ exercise, we want to be thinking about how our behaviour impacts the experience of the customer. Having the video element means that the stores can understand exactly how they have been scored, and is a visual tool to show the journey of the Mystery Shopper from start to finish. It has been a great opportunity for our stores to be really recognised for the areas they have worked so hard to be successful in, and has given them a chance to see what aspects of their business they can focus on developing.”
    Laura Gammon, Training & Development Director.
  • Ladbrokes
    Performance in People was delighted to be awarded the prestigious Ladbrokes video mystery shopping contract following a comprehensive tender selection process, to support the new Customer Experience programme in Ladbrokes Retail.
    Ladbrokes dates back to 1886 and today is a world-leader in the global betting and gaming market with over 2,000 shops and employing in excess of 13,000 in the UK alone.
    “We were really impressed with PiP’s knowledge and capability in relation to developing retail service standards. They demonstrated innovative ways of measuring and developing behaviours, which was a great fit with our new customer experience programme and their ability to adapt and roll out a fresh approach to training and coaching to support the video mystery shopping programme provided the sustainability we were looking for. Early results have already exceeded our expectations.”
    Elaine Kelly, Ladbrokes Customer Experience Manager
  • Your Move

    Your Move Estate Agents with 340 branches nationwide, commissioned Performance In People to carry out an extensive video mystery shopping exercise across their branch network.

    Performance in People sent their assessors posing as potential buyers into each of Your Move’s offices to enquire about local properties. Wearing hidden video cameras, they captured the entire customer experience and provided a full evaluation of the level of service offered together with the general image of the company.

    This programme was the first of its kind to be conducted nationally for a UK estate agency chain. Each Branch was scored on how staff presented themselves and the company, how they handled customer queries and their level of efficiency, knowledge and helpfulness. Your Move was also interested to see how effectively their computer based property viewing system, Preview, which streamlines the whole house buying and selling process for customers, was being used. 

    "At Your Move we are determined that our customers have no cause for complaint. The aim of the programme was to show us exactly what level of service our customers receive and see Your Move through their eyes. The results of the programme have been extremely positive, they have enabled us to recognise high levels of service performance, identify areas for improvement and provided us with an exceptional training tool."

    Melanie Cowall, Your Move Estate Agents

  • Kwik Fit

    For many years Kwik Fit have been passionate about the quality of service delivered to it's customers. 

    "We are number one in the market place and we recognize that exceptional service is what customers look for. Working with Performance in People, we have been able to build a highly successful programme that captures the realities of our customers’ experiences and provides a platform for each of our service centre teams to improve the customer sales experience, influence customer loyalty and ultimately maximize sales opportunities."   

    David White Customer Service Director, Kwik Fit

    The Kwik-Fit Group is the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialist in Europe and one of the largest in the world. With 1,800 service outlets across Europe it employs 9,000 people. Kwik-Fit has national UK coverage of 670 service centres and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK’s leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist. The Group, established in 1971, is owned by PAI Partners. The pan European private equity firm completed its acquisition of the Group in August 2005.

    Kwik-Fit has received more than 50 business and customer awards. Most recently it was voted ‘best fast fit’ company for the 13th year running at the Fleet Excellence Awards. 

  • Transport for London

    For London Underground, mystery shopping has been used as an important tool to measure and improve standards, when the programme came up for re-tender, London Underground were looking for a supplier who could bring the highest quality standards and the use of new technologies to the bring programme into a new dimension.

    "The level of service delivered to our customers has always been a top priority for us. To achieve consistently high levels of service we have used recorded telephone mystery within our call centres as an important measurement and staff development tool. In February 2006 after conducting an extensive tender selection process, we chose Performance In People to become our new mystery shopping provider. We were particularly impressed with their technologies and the ability to listen to all mystery shopping calls via their online facility; this combined with comprehensive reporting capabilities and significant cost savings has resulted in a much improved programme." 

    Mandy Wheeler, Transport for London

  • Specsavers
    Performance in People (PiP) is thrilled to report on the way in which Specsavers has adopted our award winning Behavioural Measurement Score® (BMS®) research methodology as a part of their comprehensive video mystery shopping programme.
    PiP’s relationship flourished with Specsavers receiving a luxurious coffee hamper from the Isle of Wight, which formed a part of the marketing team’s direct mail campaign. As a result of this, PiP successfully presented a complimentary video mystery shopping pilot for HQ to demonstrate the sophistication and in-depth analysis BMS® would enable them to measure. Specsavers is an experienced user of mystery shopping and therefore this level of analysis enabled them to take customer experience to the next level.
    Following Specsavers attendance at our BMS® Launch event in June last year, PiP conducted a video mystery shopping pilot across 15 stores which measured against their existing sales processes alongside the six key behaviours. The pilot proved to be another great success and confirmed Specsavers beliefs as a company.


    As the pilot, which incorporated BMS®, proved to provide a significant advantage to measuring customer experience, Specsavers agreed to a full video mystery shop programme across more than 740 stores. The programme was announced to the network at their Partner Conference in November last year. During the presentation the network were shown a compilation from their partners which reported on the huge success and advantages they have encountered from BMS® since the pilot. The video was a really powerful tool which demonstrated the ways in which BMS® made a significant impact and the success which followed after rolling it out across the partners.


    The customer insights team at Specsavers hosted a stand at the conference which displayed an array of BMS® branded merchandise. The range included: BMS® branded Rubik’s cubes, BMS® travel mugs which incorporated the six key behaviours and BMS® banner pens. The team were even wearing BMS® branded t-shirts! Following the launch of BMS® to the network at the conference, each store received a bundle which incorporated 6 ceramic mugs with each of the six key behaviours, BMS® Rubik’s cubes and BMS® banner pens. They are even in the process of designing BMS® postcards!
    "BMS®is a fantastic new concept for Specsavers and it has been innovative in the way we view good customer service. It has really helped us develop a clear understanding of the behaviours that build stronger relationships with our customers. No longer are we just ticking a box to follow a process we now have the tools to help our staff deliver a great experience. Since its introduction BMS has been positively embraced across Specsavers and stores are already seeing this making a difference to their customer’s experiences."
    Jill Clark, Director of Customer Service at Specsavers
  • Countrywide Farmers
    Performance in People was delighted to be awarded the Countrywide Farmers programme following a comprehensive tender selection process to identify the most appropriate agency to develop their Customer Engagement Programme.
    “What really stood out for us about Performance in People’s approach was their complete solution. They initially worked directly with stores to refine our service proposition with specific emphasis on the key behaviours that impact on great customer experience. This was followed by preparation and roll out of the training which was bespoke to Countrywide and finally using ongoing customer research and mystery shopping alongside a consistent coaching methodology to ensure a culture of continuous customer service improvement. The initial feedback from the events has been fantastic with everyone embracing the training and excited about the ongoing programme.”
    Steve Collard, Stores Director for Countrywide Farmers
    Countrywide Farmers dates back over 100 years and today is recognised as the leading supplier of products and services to the rural community. A key emphasis is to deliver consistent quality, value for money and exceptional service across the Farming, Smallholder, Equestrian, Rural Business and Country Home sectors, delivered through their Retail Stores, Direct Sales teams and On-Line.
    Performance in People (PiP) has been working closely with ŠKODA to create a powerful customer experience programme to engage the UK network. This programme includes a combination of mystery shop methods including video, telephone and email which helps to celebrate success and create sustainable change.
    “It has been a pleasure to work with Performance in People over the past year, who have played a key role in helping to drive our business forward as we continue to enhance the customer experience through the delivery of our Driven By Something Different Strategy. The ŠKODA Sales Mystery Shop programme has formed a key part of that, providing us with an effective insight into the customer journey which has given us the data and understanding to make impactful changes.”
    Adam Bham, ŠKODA UK Operations Executive.

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