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Mystery shopping

We are committed to working with our customers to improve the quality of the services we provide. As part of this process we have a mystery shopper programme.​

How mystery shopping works

Mystery shopping is a way for us to check that we are delivering services in line with our standards and they meet your expectations.  It is also an opportunity for us to invite feedback on how we can improve our services for the future.  Our mystery shoppers carry out a series of pre-agreed tasks including contacting us by email, post, telephone, in person at our One Stop Shops and through our website. They then report their findings back so we can learn from their experiences, document how well we are doing and make improvements to services as required.

Our mystery shoppers

We recruit volunteers to be mystery shoppers from the councils Viewpoint Citizens Panel.  Around 20 residents are selected randomly to broadly represent the population of South Gloucestershire.  Training is provided to explain that they are assessing the quality of the service we provide and to see if we consistently meet the targets set out in our customer charter.

The last mystery shopping exercise was carried out between August and November 2013 and focused on the following services:

  • Adult Care services
  • Housing and Council Tax Benefit services
  • Council Tax services
  • Children and Young People Services (school admissions, child minders, free school meals)
  • Environmental Health services
  • Housing services
  • Leisure and Library services
  • Planning and Transport services
  • Registration services
  • Streetcare and Waste services

Mystery shop results 2013

The results below show how our shoppers answered when asked (please note the number of responses for each channel varies):

‘Overall, how would you rate your experience of contacting South Gloucestershire Council?’

Customer satisfaction from mystery shopping 2013

Using the findings to improve services

Following the mystery shopping exercise we look at the results and produce a council report.  These results are shared with service managers so they can identify what we are doing well and what we can do to improve.  This activity is very useful for us as we want to ensure we deliver a high level of service that continues to meet your needs and expectations.


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