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Mystery Shoppers Ltd is a customer experience consultancy, specialising in using mystery shopping programmes to achieve clients’ objectives; usually, continuous improvement, compliance or competitor monitoring.

With over 27 years’ experience, Mystery Shoppers Ltd has grown one of the biggest panels of mystery shoppers in the UK with over 260,000 mystery shoppers and a large panel of professional video shoppers.

Mystery shoppers are trained to present as genuine customers and can carry out assessments on various points of contact such as:

  • Face to face visits (standard visits or audio/video recorded)
  • Telephone
  • Social media and webchat
  • Email and letter
  • Website and app

For improving staff performance, mystery shopping programmes have proved to be more cost-effective than customer service refresher training. MSL is one of the few specialist mystery shopping companies flexible enough to tackle the largest and most complex UK, European and international projects as well as successfully completing micro programmes for smaller companies.

Automotive, Catering/Hospitality, Charities/Voluntary, Finance/Investment – Personal, Gambling/Online Gaming, Government/Local Authority, Insurance, Public Services/Utilities, Retail, Telecommunications, Transportation, Travel/Tourism, Wellness/Fitness
Consultancy, Event Evaluation, Group Discussions/Focus Groups, In-Home/Doorstep Interviews, In-Store Interviews, Mystery Shopping, Online Results and Data Portals, Retail Audits, Telephone Interviewing, Web Usability Research
Business-to-Business, Competitive Intelligence, Consumer, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, International, Online Panels, Opinion Polling, Pricing, Social Media
Affluent, College/University Students, Digital Consumers, Disabled People, Ethnic Minorities, Hard-to-Reach, Senior Citizens, Unemployed, Women, Youth/Teens
Africa, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Northern/Western Europe, Republic of Ireland, UK, USA, Worldwide
Senior Contacts

Paul Grafton (Chairman)
Sophie Grafton ( Managing Director)
Matthew Pepperell (Director of Client Services)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 26
Executive/Research staff: 29
Non-research: 3
Data processing: 5
Telephone interviewers: 30
Telephone managers/supervisors: 1
Total Number of Employees: 51 to 100


Dalton House
60 Windsor Avenue
SW19 2RR
Tel: +44 (0)207 0426390
Establishment date: 1991

International House
Waldon Way
EX22 6ER
Tel: +44 (0)1409 255025
Fax: +44 (0)1409 255026
Establishment date: 1991

International Addresses

Mystery Shoppers Botswana
PO Box 47356
Plot 5681 Office 7C
Tel: 00267 3162612

Mystery Shoppers Kenya
Eden Square,
7th Floor,
Chiromo Road,
P.O. Box 856 - 00600 Nairobi,
Tel: +254 203 673 567

Mystery Shoppers Myanmar
4(C), 46(A), Pantra Street,
Dagon Township,
Thingangyun Township,
Tel: +9595002021

Customer Experience Excellence in Charity Retail

So many charity retailers that we talk to hope that customer experience procedures that they have laid out to their staff are being adhered to, but often there is uncertainty.

  • Are customers being welcomed in the way that they should be?
  • Are staff helping them to find what they need and offering recommendations?
  • Are customers being thanked when they leave?

Managers can’t always supervise every interaction at every branch simultaneously and so can’t tell exactly what it is that their customers are experiencing.

One of our clients was in this exact scenario until mystery shopping became their eyes and ears.

A London based charity with 30 retail shops wanted a mystery shopping programme to monitor the customer service provided by the charity shop staff; however, they were keen for the shoppers to assess the stores as retail stores rather than as typical ‘charity shops’. They were also interested in finding out how well the retail gift aid process (at donation stage) was being followed.

Last year, a mystery shopping programme was launched whereby each assignment involved the following:

  • The shopper visited their allocated charity shop.
  • The shopper  donated an item.
  • The staff should thank the shopper, take the item from them, ask if they would like Gift Aid then complete relevant paperwork.
  • The shopper then browsed the store.
  • They then made a small purhcase (£1 or more).
  • After the visit, the shoppers each completed an assessment form.

As well as answering questions about their experience, the shoppers were asked to provide comments to provide context to their answers. This type of data can be very insightful and can be used as a veritable ‘suggestion box’. For example, a number of shoppers commented on the temperature and ‘stuffiness’ of the shops. An issue which can now be addressed by the Managers. Many shoppers also mentioned how friendly and knowledgeable staff were which could help to identify those who deserve a reward or congratulations.

Since August 2018, 89 charity shop assessments have been successfully completed and overall results have improved by 6%, now at a fantastic 81%.

In general, interactions at the till have been steadily improving since the programme began. Staff members who serve customers at the till have now been greeting them, smiling and making eye contact on every occasion.

Since the beginning of the programme, some important areas for improvement have been highlighted. For example, during the first wave, only 45% of shoppers were asked if they wanted to Gift Aid their donation which was one of the Manager’s major concerns. In the most recent wave this has risen to 63%.

The charity retailer will be continuing to assess the customer experience with a further year of mystery shopping assessments.

Source: Mystery Shoppers Ltd Solutions

“Working in partnership with Mystery Shoppers Ltd. has been a pleasure. The staff are knowledgeable and passionate and their work has helped me gain valuable insights into our face-to-face and phone channels. Importantly, their data are supported by an excellent suite of analysis tools. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.”

Barnet London Borough

"I was very impressed working with Mystery Shoppers when developing plans to support our new Customer Experience Strategy. I received really useful help from the organisation on how to translate our requirements into an approach that was robust and would deliver what we wanted. We were also able to work flexibly with them as information gathered in early waves led us to consider new aspects and it was encouraging that our requests to flex were positive met by the company. I would rate them very highly in terms of customer care and expertise in their field and recommend them to organisations seeking a partner to work with who can help them improve their business through customer focused programmes."

Enfield Council

"Gain Credit's partnership with Mystery Shoppers Ltd has been valuable and insightful. The data produced has been high quality and it has significantly helped us to develop our procedures and improve the quality of service we offer our customers. The team are proactive, innovative and professional. I have no hesitation in working with Mystery Shoppers again for our next project."

Gain Credit

"Mystery Shoppers have provided me with a tailor made mystery shopper programme to measure my business performance. They were quick to understand my priorities and offer customisable solutions to meet my business needs. They are incredibly helpful and have made the process so simple. The programme has helped identify focus areas that I have been able to work on and improve my shops performance."

Royal Trinity Hospice

"Unilever uses mystery shopping as one of the key measures for its consumer care operation. Since 2004 we have carried out regular campaigns to ensure that our consumer service targets have been achieved by our call centre. The programme was developed in conjunction with Mystery Shoppers. Their input was invaluable in ensuring that appropriate measures and scoring criteria were adopted. This covers both hard measures (e.g. time to answer call) and soft skills (did the caller feel valued?). Calls are made to our own advisers and to competitor’s carelines. The ongoing support from Mystery Shoppers has helped us to enhance the criteria used to give more differentiated feedback. They have also been on hand to help with interpretation of data and to advise on how this can be used to deliver improvements. I am convinced that the use of this programme has helped us to deliver a better service for our consumers.”


"Battersea have been working for the past three years with Mystery Shoppers Limited. This has been and continues to be a successful and an enjoyable relationship. One of the deciding factors in choosing MSL over other agencies was the availability of shoppers across the UK to facilitate visits to our third party agency fundraisers working on private site locations across England and Wales. The added bonus has been the exemplary customer service and the attention to detail provided by the whole team who look after our account. There is always someone there at the other end of the telephone to answer any concerns or queries that we may have. Due to the nature of fundraising, we have lots of daily changes to our territory site list and the team are quick to respond to any requests for site visit cancellations that are made. Similarly, changes or additions to our report questions are well accommodated. The portal to access the reports is user friendly and updated regularly and the option to receive pdf alerts when the report is ready is particularly useful to respond to any urgent issues arising from sub-standard mystery shops. I would highly recommend working with Mystery Shoppers Limited."


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