You’ve been going over your dealership sales team’s KPIs and it doesn’t look good. You’ve been spending on training, but nothing seems to work. What’s going on? 

It could be any number of things, but there are a few obvious places to start. In most cases, revenue opportunities are left on the table because of inefficient or dated sales practices that aren’t giving customers what they need to make a purchase. This is especially true when it comes to the phone, and bringing in a mystery shopper can make a huge difference for your bottom line. These undercover professionals can give you the scoop on where your team is succeeding and where they could brush up on skills and consistency.

While you’ve probably heard of mystery shopping before, you may not know just how powerful it can be compared to other forms of feedback. Our team has put together a first-class guide to give you the lowdown on this game-changing customer service evaluation tool.


There are any number of reasons your sales department may be underperforming, and all of them are correctable with the right tactics and training. Some of the more common issues include:

Skill Drift

In a surprising way, the smart go-getters you’ve hired to sell your products can negatively impact the overall effectiveness of your sales team if they become too creative in their approach. Today’s customers are looking for consistency of messaging and branding across every aspect of your business—no matter who picks up the phone. Over time, increasing individualization of key content can result in inconsistent experiences that impact sales goals. 

Additionally, specific product, policy, and pricing details can also start to blur, especially as new information comes in. It’s been demonstrated that memory details can drift 37% in a single year, so it’s important to make training and review an ongoing process at your dealership. 

Lack of Accurate Feedback

Even the best employees don’t always know how their daily interactions are impacting a sale, and it takes accurate feedback to make meaningful changes to their game. However, if the information they’re getting isn’t useful, then they might as well not get it at all—and you’ve wasted a lot of money! 

Customer surveys and comment cards occasionally have some valuable information, but in most cases, they don’t point in the direction of positive change. Owners and GMs should invest in tools that generate fast and detailed points for improvement and follow up with actionable advice. 

Limited or Ineffective Training

In an environment as dynamic and ever-changing as car sales, training has to be an ongoing priority. Ideally, dealerships should have a dedicated training partner who works with your team on a weekly or monthly basis to introduce new information, keep their skills on point, and make sure they stay in line with current best practices and policies. 

The best training consultants can achieve great results in surprisingly little time by utilizing mystery shops. These experiences deliver real-world examples of your team’s performance and highlight a few critical points for improvement. It’s a fast and efficient way to keep everyone on the same page while driving all your customers toward a sale. 


Your training partner usually has a team of trained mystery shoppers they deploy to call your dealership and explore specific aspects of your phone service. However, not every consultant’s mystery shopper program delivers great results. Here’s what you should look for to get an ideal mystery shopper experience for your business:

  1. Mystery shoppers (or their agency) prepare a rubric in consultation with you to ensure everything you need to have evaluated is covered. You’ll have priorities, and good partners can point out details you might not have considered.
  2. The shopper calls your dealership posing as a customer. A great mystery shopper is sufficiently trained and experienced to avoid tipping off your sales team.
  3. The mystery shopper poses pre-planned questions and investigates issues organically as they come up.
  4. Afterward, you should receive a detailed report and a recording of the call to reference.
  5. Your training partner uses the elements of the call to celebrate success and offer specific advice to your team on how to improve the interaction. 
  6. Employees are individually coached over time to ensure new skills are integrated.


A long-term investment in a mystery shopping partner can have a major impact on your overall sales numbers. They will:

  • Identify revenue opportunities.
  • Catch small issues before they grow and cost you money.
  • Deliver fast, accurate feedback on the effectiveness of your sales strategies.
  • Identify valuable differentiators from your competition. 
  • Improve and unify your team’s presentation, procedures, and efficiency.
  • Help craft your overall CS protocols to reflect the true needs of your customers.

As you can see, a mystery shopper offers tons of advantages that will drastically improve your sales team’s skill set and get your KPIs headed in the right direction.


We founded Phone Ninjas as a top-to-bottom training program for automotive dealerships, and the mystery shopper experience is one of our most important tools for identifying issues and coaching toward success. We use these powerful evaluation tools to uncover key areas of improvement and use them to create a comprehensive training strategy that is tailored to the needs and resources of your business. Then, we use mystery shops to check in on your team over time and hone in on teachable moments that translate to better sales numbers.

We’re so confident you’ll see the value in our program we’ll perform a demo and two mystery shops of your dealership for free with no further commitment. And we don’t do long-term contracts that lock you into an expensive payment plan. We bill month-to-month, so you partner with us for exactly as long as you need.

Call or email us today so we can start transforming your sales numbers!

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