“Mystery shoppers” sounds like a new reality television series, but it is actually one of the tools the U.S. Postal Service uses to gauge customer service. Mystery shoppers are customers unknown to the retail staff and who fill out evaluations on their shopping experience, which helps determine how well retail units are performing.

The Postal Service’s Retail Customer Experience (RCE) program uses mystery shoppers to objectively collect data on retail customer experiences. This information is used to drive behaviors for improving customer service, increasing retail revenues, and correcting unfavorable conditions. What kinds of things are these mystery shoppers evaluating?



How long did they wait in line? Was it over 5 minutes? This makes up 40 percent of the RCE score.
Were forms and supplies available? Were promotional messages neatly displayed? This makes up 25 percent of the score.
Was the Postal Service employee attentive and did he or she interact pleasantly with the mystery shopper? Was the retail area neat, clean, and well maintained? This “image” part of the survey makes up 20 percent of the score.
Did the Postal Service employee ask the mystery shopper if the package being shipped contained hazardous materials? This represents 15 percent of the score.

Although not factored into the overall score, mystery shoppers also record their experience in these categories:

Product offering – To what extent were mystery shoppers offered certain products and services?
Product explanations – To what extent were benefits and features of products and services explained?
Overall experience – Mystery shoppers provide their view on the overall experience, including whether their expectations were met and their likelihood to return.

Comments (8)

  • anon

    I am not complaining. Mystery shopped by the same guy twice. He marked me down for not offering extra services. Twice he did this. That was not true. why am I wasting my time asking all of this stuff 10,000 times a day for him to give false information? Not fair

    Nov 04, 2017
  • anon

    I am interested in mystery shopper . where do I apply

    Aug 23, 2017
  • anon

    I am new to the Postal Service. As a PSE, I'm learning the whole processes of the mail system. I've already been assigned to run a manual office and I love what I'm doing. However, I've worked in the customer service industry for over 20 years. That's my specialty. And coming up with innovative ideas on service improvement is what I love. I would thrive on new ways to evaluate customer service and how to boost morale, drive & integrity. I think I have ideas worth exploring. Can someone direct me as to what channels I should direct my drive & determination to pursue this avenue of my Postal Service career? I would sure appreciate your time. :-)

    May 25, 2016
  • anon

    I have conducted mystery shops through BARE for USPS in the 14201 area. Unfortunately around August 2015, I was informed by my agency that they lost the bid for USPS in my area. I'm trying to find out which mystery shopping agency has won the bid in my area. Can anyone help me?

    Jan 16, 2016
  • anon

    I am a retired small office postmaster interested in performing retail mystery shops for USPS. I live in Solano county California. Who can I contact for information regarding employment with the organization responsible for hiring?

    Jan 11, 2016
  • anon

    I am interested in doing mystery shopping for USPS. Do you know the employment company that is servicing the shops? Thanks.

    Jan 07, 2016
  • anon

    I am interested in doing mystery shopping for USPS. Do you know the company that is servicing the shops? Thanks. Ann

    Oct 08, 2015
  • anon

    I am a retired postal employee living in Muskegon Michigan currently seeking employment as a mystery shopper. Are there any openings available in my area? If so, please consider sending me any and all information available to apply for the job. I have 35 years experience with the U.S. Postal Service as a Customer Service Representative, the last 5 as a Window Clerk. I still believe in the Postal Service and would like to see it thrive. Thank you for your time, Nancy Muskovin

    Sep 06, 2015

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