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. Organizational 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 organizational change process. The case supports the need for a broad focus on measurements in order to be able to monitor and to direct organizational 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, such as 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.

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Total Quality Management and Business Excellence
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van der Wiele, T., Hesselink, M., & van Iwaarden, J. (2005). Mystery shopping: A tool to develop insight into customer service provision. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 16(4), 529–541. doi:10.1080/14783360500078433