Mystery Shop Assignment

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Author(s): Angela Lyrette
Affiliation: Algonquin College

Level: Diploma / Advanced Diploma, 2nd year

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify basic expectations for customer satisfaction.
  • Identify environmental factors that contribute to customer satisfaction.
  • Create and use a customer service rating checklist.


Customer experiences are difficult to evaluate. Organizations sometimes use third-party “mystery shoppers” to evaluate team members. In class, we examine factors such as the look and feel of an organization as well as the specific actions or questions service professionals use to provide positive customer experiences.

Following this activity, students create a “Mystery Shop” observational checklist that they will use either in their own financial institution or one they might be interested in doing business with. They begin their observations before they enter the premises and include assessments for how they make students feel, as well as how they conduct their visit.

Students gain increased awareness of the importance of workplace environment, office culture, and for those not working part-time in the service industry, the difficulty, and complexity of even the most basic customer experience role.

In the weeks leading up to this assignment, students review and discuss mystery shop reports from a variety of industries, including financial services. They practice writing customer complaint letters and subsequent replies. A few weeks after the assignment, the lesson on career preparation reinforces the strategy of visiting a potential employer/workplace to see and experience (if possible) if it is a good fit.


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Lyrette, A. (2022). Mystery Shop Assignment. In Seneca College, Durham College, Algonquin College, University of Ottawa (Eds.), Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning – Exemplar Collection. Open Library. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from


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Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning - Exemplar Collection by Seneca College; Durham College; Algonquin College; and University of Ottawa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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