Mystery shopping in senegal’s transport system : what real impact on passenger service ?

20 Aug
mystery shopping dans les transports

Whether for work or leisure, every day thousands of people use public or private transport. The transport sector is evolving in a complex environment impacted by a multitude of factors: strong demographic growth increasing the pressure on the sector, predominance of the informal sector in the Senegalese economy, aging of the vehicle fleet, etc.

New players are appearing (inter-regional bus companies, VTC, clando cabs, etc.), making the sector increasingly competitive, especially for the historical players (Taxi, “Seven Seats”, Rapid Buses, etc.).

New companies are entering the market and are trying to gain market share by offering services aimed at distinguishing themselves through privileged customer service.

The latter (the customer) is at the center of the concerns of all the economic actors who are aware that the customer leads the dance and has the monopoly on the market. Having a clear vision of the customer’s perception of the services offered is a major challenge for all companies and economic players.

There is no lack of tools and methods to measure customer satisfaction (surveys, field surveys, online surveys, smiley terminal). But Mystery Shopping is one of the methods, allowing to obtain a clear and objective vision of the quality level of the service proposed to the customers.

In this article we will explain the real importance of Mystery Shopping.

Concept of Mystery Shopping

Mystery Shopping has a great potential to sustain the growth of companies by focusing on customer loyalty. Depending on the nature of the company targeted by the mystery shopping and the services to be evaluated, there are different types of surveys:

  • Mystery visits
  • Mystery calls
  • Mystery emails

Each of them has its own criteria and approach.

The Mystery Shopper is an auditor and observer in a customer situation to objectively analyze the data collected in the field on the basis of factual elements. His function is to reproduce the typical path of the usual consumer. He looks like a customer, acts like a customer and consumes like a customer, in order to produce a complete and impartial evaluation.

The Mystery Shopper must not be spotted or he will not be credible.


The results of this survey allow us to adjust the marketing and sales approach to the profile of the decision-makers that the customers have become. A rigorously structured process and carefully analyzed results are essential elements for drawing objective conclusions. So how can this approach be adapted to the public and private sectors?

Mystery Shopping and public/private transport

The transport sector, regardless of its status, has always faced restructuring and customer satisfaction is less and less present. This gap is especially noticeable in public transport where the service provided to passengers is almost non-existent. The worst customer experiences are the waiting time in stations that do not correspond to the established standards and the time of a trip inside the transport in question.

The economic actors investing in the sector seek to differentiate themselves from the competition by remedying the dissatisfaction of their customers and service users. Mystery shopping is a solution to the problems that passengers experience on a daily basis. Well conducted and carried out objectively according to its own quality approach, these mystery shopping surveys help to improve

  • Waiting time at stops,
  • The welcome reserved for customers in the transport system,
  • The definition of peak hours and frequency of service,
  • Conflict management,
  • Cleanliness, etc.

This study serves initially as a benchmark for managers who will adjust their approaches to the results provided and interpreted.

In short, these tools are very effective but must be used in an appropriate manner by experts who will truly appreciate the results.

DOLPH-STATS CONSULTING accompanies you in all your research projects by taking full charge of the mystery shopping: providing mystery shoppers, following up on all the indicators and helping to clarify the results.

Penda Faye
Author: Penda Faye