Mystery Shopping - Telephone Calls

April 23, 2013.


Mackman Research was commissioned by global engineering company, Atkins to conduct a mystery shopper audit. The telephone mystery shop was to one of their central call-centres. The centre processes calls from customers such as the police, local councils, members of the public and the Highways Agency Traffic Control.


Atkins supplied Mackman Research with a potential set of questions for the mystery telephone shop. Based on this remit, a call summary checklist was put together by Mackman Research to measure the four elements of customer service stated by Atkins, to help monitor and improve overall services. The checklist questions covered areas such as the speed of response, courtesy of response, length of telephone call and the overall satisfaction level of the call, based on Atkins training criteria. An individual checklist was completed by a Mackman senior researcher for each telephone call.

For the mystery shopping to be relevant and credible, Atkins supplied Mackman Research with a list of 32 straight forward scenarios based on previous calls to the call-centre and the researchers made secret calls posing as a genuine caller. Calls were scheduled against staff rotas, to ensure the maximum likelihood of speaking to all call operatives over the calling period.


The results provided a firm measure of levels of service at the call-centre according to the clients’ target areas. Mackman Research delivered a complete investigative report to the client. The data has been used as a training incentive for staff and is an essential tool to help increase staff efforts.

Dr Gemma Mackman

Dr Gemma Mackman

Research Director

Dr Gemma Mackman is co-founder and Research Director of the Mackman Group. Her professional career has given her a broad knowledge of business practices, an appreciation of good customer service and experience of a diverse range of sectors. Gemma is also a member of the Market Research Society and has completed research training provided by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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