Before starting a mystery shop for a client we like to scope the store to see how they operate. Here is an example mystery shopping gyms. It’s not in the normal questionnaire format of a mystery shop but it will give you an idea of what we look for.
This is a classic example of where the service was nice and the customer would probably score it 9 or 10/10. But there were some glaring errors which would lead to loss of sales. Surveys don’t tell the whole story.
Here’s the mystery shop
Phone call morning of Monday September 20, 2019
John answered the call in 8 rings. (Not bad but not great)
He mentioned [Brand] and his name.
He quickly arranged a booking for 2pm the same day. So far so good.
I was late for the appointment (around the corner).
Mary called me at 2pm precisely to ask if I was still coming
This was a pleasant and rare occurrence.
I entered the gym at 2:10pm.
External and interior were spotless.
Was greeted by three people standing around the reception
counter and introduced to everyone.
I was then invited to complete a registration form.
The registration form wasn’t well printed. The first few
characters down the left side were cut off.
Mary came over as I completed the form. She introduced
herself again and asked questions about how I found and some other conversation starting questions.
We then started discussing my goals and diet (which happens to be Keto).
She also pointed out her transformation photo on the wall
and talked about her own personal journey (she used to be a client).
After about 10 minutes of discussion Mary asked if I wanted
to “walk around”.
We walked up the stairs (she let me walk first) as we continued
At the top of the stairs she mentioned it was a small space
but more than adequate for how [Brand] operate.
We did not walk around the room. We stood in the middle and
After a while she asked if I wanted to sit down, so I sat on
what looked like a black plastic version on the pedestals used in Olympics
ceremonies. These were likely used for step training.
I was not shown any equipment and not shown the changerooms.
I was not told about opening hours (I had to ask).
Mary talked about the 30 minute sessions with the PT twice a
week. She also had a glossy folded brochure mapping the journey over the 11
She didn’t refer to the brochure much and I never got to
hold it. Note: it would have been better to let me hold the brochure and have
her walk through the points relevant to me.
I mentioned that I’m enthusiastically Keto but she didn’t
mention it during the sale. I was turned off the gym offering because she
mentioned nutrition programs which seemed to not fit the way I want to eat.
There was no mention of adjusting the programs. The nutrition approach seemed canned
She also mentioned that before and after shots were part of the journey as I lost weight.
However, I said I don’t want to lose weight. My aim was to have resistance training.
So again, it seemed I was being fit into a formula, despite
being told everything was personalised.
Mary then walked through the pricing written on the back of
my registration form.
- 11 weeks at $70 per session with an option of $56
per session for a 6-month contract with use of the gym at any time.
- $200 once off start-up fee which includes 4
sessions. 2 of the sessions are consultative (body scan and nutrition).
She asked if I had any other questions and went quiet,
waiting for me to talk – perhaps part of the [Brand] sales process.
I asked a few questions and she asked if I wanted to
proceed. I said I was going to ‘fish around’ town a little more.
She reiterated that it’s great value for what you get.
She twice mentioned that she would follow-up in a couple of
I was given a business card but not given pricing and walked
away literally empty handed. Again it would have been useful to give me an
aspirational brochure or pricing.
I would not have bought (which is a shame because in real
life I am looking) because the diet and program seemed regimented and focused
on weight loss, despite me stating that was not the aim.
Visit ended 2:40pm and I never got a call back. Such a wasted opportunity.
Whether you are mystery shopping gyms or tyres, you need to stay on path but not stuck in the tracks.
Here’s a sneak peek at some reporting below. It’s not specific to mystery shopping gyms but may help.