Russia is in the top-3 in terms of employee smileiness in the MSPA world ranking

05 August 2022

Global research: progress in the greetings according to this year's Smiling Report survey on a sample of 731.285 reports in 30 countries.

The Smile and Add-on Sales increased, while Greeting decreased in 2021 compared to 2020.

Like the preceding year, 2021 was once again a very challenging year for most people. Following the start of the global pandemic, we were confronted with an economic crisis and numerous other problems which influenced our sense of security in the community. In the midst of those trying times, positive actions shined brighter than ever before. Good deeds and empathy were the glue that held people together and empowered everybody to push through, while still finding the beauty in everyday life and interactions. We responded more positively to businesses which had a positive impact on their customers and employees. With these circumstances in mind, we present to you the findings of the 2021 Smiling report.

MSPA Europe/Africa has released the 2022 Smiling Report in cooperation with Better Business World Wide, the 18th year the report has been published. The Smiling Report consists of data from around 31 million mystery shopping evaluations, data which has been collected since 2004. It is compiled from information supplied by Mystery Shopping Providers in Europe/Africa, Asia/Pacific and America. The report analyses customer service data from evaluations conducted across a whole spectrum of industries. All information is gathered by mystery shoppers from professional mystery shopping companies that are members of the MSPA, the trade organization for mystery shopping professionals. The 2022 report provides a summary of answers to questions focusing on Smile, Greeting and Add-on Sales metrics on a sample of 731 285 reports from 30 countries during 2021.

Overall, 85,6 % (2020; 87,8 %) of customers received a smile, 88,2 % (2020: 85,6 %) were greeted, while 52 % (2020: 54,2 %) received additional sale suggestion. The aggregated scores were decreased for smile -2,2 and for add-on sales -2,2 , compared to 2020. This year we are seeing increase in greetings by +2,6  compared to 2020 from 85,6 % to 88,2 %. 


A smile is a powerful but incredibly simple tool in sales. It has been proven that a smiling face can enhance consumer joy and increase brand appeal. Therefor in mystery shopping special attention is paid to this indicator.

  • Paraguay (98,8 %), Cyprus (96,8%) and Russian Federation (94,1%) had the highest Smiling scores.

  • Lowest Smiling scores were in Serbia (70 %), Germany (72,6 %) and Hong Kong (74,4%).

  • South America is the highest scoring continent, with 98,8 %. The lowest scoring continent was Asia/Pacific at 74,4%. The highest scoring industry is Health & Beauty with 89,3% followed by Transport (89%) and Automotive (87,8%). Leisure is lowest with 81,6%, a decrease compared to 2020.


Greeting is the most important thing you can do well... or poorly.

The most successful sellers make a real difference by developing positive customer relationships that start with a friendly greeting. A genuine greeting will make customers feel welcome and appreciated, while a friendly welcome can increase sales and customer loyalty.

  • Greece has attained the highest score with 98% Greeting, followed by the United States with 97,9 % and the Paraguay with 96,9%.

  • The lowest Greeting scores were in Netherlands with 47,5%, and Serbia with 67,3%. 

  • South America was the best performing continent with 96,9%. Asia/Pacific the lowest with 80.6%.

  • Transport (95,3%) and Health & Beauty (93,5 %) were the industries with the highest Greeting score. B2B was the lowest scoring industry with 79%.

Add-on Sales

Additional sales can represent significant revenues and profits for the company. They are also a significant indicator of proactivity and employee engagement. Additional sales can help the seller to establish a better relationship with the buyer and adjust the offer to his needs. This in turn increases customer satisfaction, allows retailers to build trust and ensure customers return to the store.

  • Best performing with results from Add-on sales were, The Russian Federation, with 82,8%, Hong Kong with 76,3% and Hungary with 70,2%.

  • At the bottom were Cyprus 11,6%, followed by Netherlands with 16,4% and Greece at 28%.

  • The highest scoring continent was Asia / Pacific with 76,3% and the lowest scoring continent was Europe with 48,8%.

  • Automotive is the industry with the highest score of 76,6%, followed by Leisure (75,3%). Lowest scoring industries in Add-on sales are Retail (41,7%) and Health & Beauty with 43,5%.


Considering all the results of this research, we can conclude that we are on the right track in achieving a positive customer experience. Of course, in addition to the above indicators there are further complex and specific measurements that are essential for sales success in various industries. Emphasis is placed on these specific indicators because they are universal for all industries and are also fundamental gauges for starting a successful sales approach.

In these challenging times, the emphasis is on maintaining business and it is especially important to attract and retain every customer. Greetings, a smile, a kind word... these are the minimum that we should provide - small but significant differences that we can all make.

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