Evaluating your Cleaning Staff with Mystery Shoppers

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In the retail industry, mystery shoppers play a key role in evaluating staff. For everyone in the home service industry, here’s the definition of a mystery shopper from the Business Dictionary:

Person hired by a market research firm or a manufacturer to visit retail stores, posing as a casual shopper to collect information about the stores’ display, prices, and quality of their staff.

Although this quality assurance tactic is mainly used in retail, Jobber Partner and industry expert Katie Pearse tells us how home service businesses can use mystery shoppers to their advantage.

First of all, setting up a mystery shopping program is simple and easy to implement. Do the following:

  1. Find homeowners that are willing to be mystery shoppers.
  2. Create a checklist for that homeowner to grade the worker.

One way to find willing homeowners is by offering discounts on your services. “Mystery shopper clients would get 50% off a cleaning to do an evaluation report on one of my cleaning teams,” says Katie.

She made the offer to current customers, and when she needed more participants she posted the offer on her company’s Facebook page.

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Gathering and Using Feedback

Mystery shoppers evaluate your employees. As a result, you’ll get an inside look at the success of your training. You’ll see how to improve not only your customer service but also your service offering.  

“I would have mystery shoppers evaluate teams pretty thoroughly,” says Katie. “They would grade them on everything: did they say hello, did they introduce themselves, what were their names, did they leave behind a cleaning checklist, how was the cleaning.”

Hold your employees accountable for the quality of their work. As you grow, you won’t be able to be at every job, or interact onsite with every crew. Implementing mystery shoppers will give you control over the quality of your service and allow you to identify the difficulties your employees are going through.

As a bonus, your mystery shoppers will become advocates of your business. Customers who participate in your program will feel invested in your company.


“These people care, and they’re really engaged, so you get great testimonial quotes. You get a lot of good suggestions for improvement too.”

Katie Pearse Quote

A mystery shopper program is a great way to improve the customer service of your cleaning company. Looking for more ways to train and evaluate your employees? Check out Chapter 4 of the Jobber Academy Guide How to Run a Cleaning Business.

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