• Mystery Shopping your Customer Experience

  • Mind The Gap: UK businesses continue to miss opportunities to make customers feel Covid-safe

    Businesses and customers continue to struggle to meet Covid-19 safety protocols

    Back in July Proinsight Research Ltd  teamed up with their partners at the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association to gather insights and feedback from consumers to see how businesses in the UK are keeping their customers safe post lockdown. 3 months and a second lockdown later, we ran the same survey to establish whether improvements had been made…

    The survey evaluated the experiences of members of the general public when visiting locations 3,200 in July and over 2,000 in November ranging from fashion & general retail stores, supermarkets, car dealers and fast food to dining establishments. Based on the principles of Covid-19 transmission prevention, findings were split out into the following:

        • Performance on sanitisation
      • Signage
      • Staff and customer social distancing
      • PPE

    In the second phase we added customer mask wearing as this now is recommended. Respondents were asked about their resultant feeling of safety and likelihood to return to the places they visited. The findings show obvious gaps in compliance to government guidelines with a potential health impact and a definite impact on consumer confidence and advocacy levels.

    Despite good use of signage 2 in 10 staff failed to adhere to social distancing guidelines, with supermarket staff least likely to be compliant. Customers too were found to be ignoring safety measures in almost half the locations visited – again customers supermarkets were the biggest offenders.

    Of most concern is that we see failure for customers to socially distance and not wear masks in 40% of location visited. There is no real change on figures from July to November in the UK, and behaviour remains unchanged from both a frontline employee and a customer perspective.


    Failing to follow Covid-19 guidelines will negatively impact sales and safety.

    When all the safety protocols are in place, the customer ‘likely to recommend’ rate was at 9.2 out of 10. However, when they are not this figure declines markedly to 3.7, showing just how much customers value these safety measures.

    Stefaan Vandroogenboeck, President of MSPA Europe/Africa commented: “All these measures are directly within in the control of businesses and customers so efforts must be increased to ensure customers feel safe in their locations. This can only be achieved by training those in the frontline and regularly monitoring every location. Safety is still the number one customer priority for the foreseeable future, and companies that ignore these warnings will struggle to weather this storm”.

    Click here to see the full survey.


    Mystery Shopping will restore faith in your customers. 

    At Proinsight, we have been supporting our clients with our Covid-19 Recovery Audits. These are designed to measure how safe your customers feel when visiting your businesses. By receiving a mystery shop report on your Covid-19 protocols within 48 hours of the visit being made, you can take action on any negative feedback before it becomes a bigger problem.

    With lockdown 2.0 being eased in a couple of days, business in the UK have another chance to improve consumers perception, fill them with confidence and increase sales.

    Contact us today to arrange your Covid-19 Recovery Audit.