Guest Mystery Shopping Program Design

Kinēsis employs a return intent based approach to mystery shop program design. This approach helps our clients identify and reinforce service behaviors which drive return intent and loyalty. We help clients focus training, coaching, incentives, and other motivational tools directly on the elements of the guest experience that will produce the largest return on investment.

Return intent based approach to program design.

Questionnaire design anticipates the analysis and typically includes observations of objective behaviors, subjective impressions and comments. Together, these three elements of questionnaire design reveal the “what”, “how” and “why” of the guest experience, each map to a specific analytical purpose in indentifying drivers of purchase intent and loyalty as follows:

Observation Type

Analytical Benefit


What Objective observations identify what specific service behaviors are performed. Arrow Used in conjunction with return intent ratings described below to identify which behaviors have the highest potential for ROI in terms of driving return intent.


How Scientifically designed and strategically selected rating scales tell us how the shopper felt about the experience. Arrow Ratings of return intent are used as a basis for cross-tabulation to determine how the responses of those who reported a positive influence on return intent vary from those who reported a negative influence.

This yields a means of ranking the importance of each behavior by the strength of its relationship to return intent.


Why Open-ended comments are used to capture why shoppers felt the way they did about the experience. Arrow Paired with this return intent rating is a follow-up question asking, why the shopper rated their return intent as they did. The responses to this question are grouped and classified into similar themes, and cross-tabulated by return intent.

The result of this analysis identifies what service practices drive purchase intent.

Design Process

Kinēsis employs a highly consultative approach to program design. Generally program design starts with a detailed discussion with the client regarding their objectives.

Defining research objectives first is by far the most effective way to make sure your program is on track, on budget, and produces results that drive business success. Defining research objectives is a fairly simple process. First, generate a list of everything you want to know as a result of the research, identify specific behaviors you expect from frontline employees.

From this definition of research objectives, decisions can be made with respect to questionnaire content, scenario design and sampling plan. Once you have developed a list of what you want to know as a result of the research and the service behaviors you expect from your staff, the next step is to map each service behavior to a specific mystery shop question.

Questionnaire design is typically an iterative process. Kinēsis prepares the first draft of the questionnaire. The first draft is submitted to the client for review and comment, and goes through a number of drafts until a final document is approved.


What is missing is a strategy to transition research into action, and bring the various stakeholders into the research process.