Mystery Shopping gyms man and woman working out with heavy ropes.

Before starting a mystery shop for a client we like to scope the store to see how they operate. Here is an example mystery shopping gyms. It’s not in the normal questionnaire format of a mystery shop but it will give you an idea of what we look for.

The findings below don’t just apply to mystery shopping gyms but can equally apply to tyre stores, banks, or any consultative sales process.

This is a classic example of where the service was nice and the customer would probably score it 9 or 10/10. But there were some glaring errors which would lead to loss of sales. Surveys don’t tell the whole story.

A sales process is a guide, not a railway track.

Here’s what happens when a sale stays on the tracks more than it should.

What happens when sales stay on the tracks

Alternative video link here.

Contact Details

Phone call morning of Monday September 20, 2019

John answered the call in 8 rings. (Not bad but not great)

He mentioned [Brand] and his name.

He quickly arranged a booking for 2pm the same day. So far so good.


I was late for the appointment (around the corner).

Mary called me at 2pm precisely to ask if I was still coming in.

This was a pleasant and rare occurrence.


I entered the gym at 2:10pm.

External and interior were spotless.

Was greeted by three people standing around the reception counter and introduced to everyone.

I was then invited to complete a registration form.


The registration form wasn’t well printed. The first few characters down the left side were cut off.

Mary came over as I completed the form. She introduced herself again and asked questions about how I found  and some other conversation starting questions.

We then started discussing my goals and diet (which happens to be Keto).

She also pointed out her transformation photo on the wall and talked about her own personal journey (she used to be a client).


After about 10 minutes of discussion Mary asked if I wanted to “walk around”.

We walked up the stairs (she let me walk first) as we continued talking.

At the top of the stairs she mentioned it was a small space but more than adequate for how [Brand] operate.

We did not walk around the room. We stood in the middle and talked.

After a while she asked if I wanted to sit down, so I sat on what looked like a black plastic version on the pedestals used in Olympics ceremonies. These were likely used for step training.

I was not shown any equipment and not shown the changerooms.

I was not told about opening hours (I had to ask).

The consultation

Mary talked about the 30 minute sessions with the PT twice a week. She also had a glossy folded brochure mapping the journey over the 11 weeks.

She didn’t refer to the brochure much and I never got to hold it. Note: it would have been better to let me hold the brochure and have her walk through the points relevant to me.

I mentioned that I’m enthusiastically Keto but she didn’t mention it during the sale. I was turned off the gym offering because she mentioned nutrition programs which seemed to not fit the way I want to eat. There was no mention of adjusting the programs. The nutrition approach seemed canned and inflexible

She also mentioned that before and after shots were part of the journey as I lost weight.

However, I said I don’t want to lose weight. My aim was to have resistance training.

So again, it seemed I was being fit into a formula, despite being told everything was personalised.

The sale

Mary then walked through the pricing written on the back of my registration form.

She asked if I had any other questions and went quiet, waiting for me to talk – perhaps part of the [Brand] sales process.

I asked a few questions and she asked if I wanted to proceed. I said I was going to ‘fish around’ town a little more.

She reiterated that it’s great value for what you get.

She twice mentioned that she would follow-up in a couple of days.

I was given a business card but not given pricing and walked away literally empty handed. Again it would have been useful to give me an aspirational brochure or pricing.


I would not have bought (which is a shame because in real life I am looking) because the diet and program seemed regimented and focused on weight loss, despite me stating that was not the aim.

Visit ended 2:40pm and I never got a call back. Such a wasted opportunity.

Whether you are mystery shopping gyms or tyres, you need to stay on path but not stuck in the tracks.

Here’s a sneak peek at some reporting below.

Mystery Shopping reporting EKG
Mystery Shopping reporting Spider graph
Mystery Shopping reporting questionnaire analysis