Reaching service excellence through a focus on the customer, demands more than just measuring customer satisfaction by means of questionnaire surveys. Nowadays, it is not sufficient anymore to have service excellence in services, processes and relationships. Now is the time to create excellence in customer experiences, as the only way to create competitive advantage in the market. Organisational change should then be driven by a broader focus on customers’ expectations and multiple ways of measuring customers’ satisfaction. The case of a service company in The Netherlands (a temporary employment agency) illustrates the way to service excellence as an organisational change process. The case supports the need for a broad focus on measurements in order to be able to monitor and to direct organisational changes. Customer satisfaction data based on surveys are needed, however, they will not be sufficient for continuing the change process over time. To achieve that, other measurements like mystery shopping may give more stimuli to change. Therefore, this research argues that mystery shopping can be a useful instrument in addition to the more often-used survey methods.

customer satisfaction, mystery guest, mystery shopping, service excellence
Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior (jel L2), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Business Administration: General (jel M10), Marketing and Advertising: Other (jel M39)
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Hesselink, M, van Iwaarden, J.D, & van der Wiele, A. (2004). Mystery shopping: A tool to develop insight into customer service provision (No. ERS-2004-082-ORG). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from