Comparing Mystery Shopping Companies

Mystery Shopping CompaniesMystery shopping companies are basically agencies who specialize in providing mystery shopping service for other businesses. Businesses ranging from retail outlets to grocery stores hire mystery shopping companies to analyze the overall quality of customer service at their store. The mystery shopping service sends a mystery shopper or secret shopper, to pose as a regular customer and monitor employee interaction with customers in the store. Company owners realize that maintaining quality service is key to success so they are happy to hire mystery shopping service for that reason.

Finding trustworthy mystery shopper companies is one of the most important steps to take when seeking out these types of services. Whether you're comparing mystery shopping companies to hire one, or to become a secret shopper yourself, you'll need to carefully compare mystery shopping companies to avoid scams. There are over four hundred mystery shopping companies in the United States, most of which are recognized and established businesses, but unfortunately there are also mystery shopping service scams on the internet.

Step 1

Visit the website of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) and locate trusted and legitimate mystery shopping companies in your area. The Mystery Shopping Providers Association is scam-free, but it's important to beware that many scammers are using the Mystery Shopping Providers Association logo on their websites to con people into forking over their money for their "mystery shopper service". If you choose to compare mystery shopper companies through this organization, you should do so on their actual website. You can also use this association if you're looking for a secret shopper job yourself.

Step 2

Contact local mystery shopping companies and request an interview to get quotes and information from each one. Determine the area of your business that is in need of mystery shopping service and get prices based on your needs in one or more areas. Mystery shopper work can be used to monitor employee sales techniques, cleanliness of the store, bookkeeping, and service quality. Gather quotes from at least three different mystery shopper companies.

Step 3

Question your mystery shopping service contract and understand the details. You'll need to not only know the price of the mystery shopping service, but also details regarding the mystery shoppers assignment deadlines, the number of secret shoppers on the job, payment due dates and the length and terms of your contract.

Step 4

Find qualified mystery shopping companies that are licensed to do business in your state. In addition to licensing, you'll need to make sure that the mystery shopping service is fully insured to avoid potential legal problems. Find out if the mystery shopping company has any community or government recognition by checking the website of the Better Business Bureau. It's recommended that you avoid mystery shopping companies who are not insured, and if you're unable to find any public reviews or records about the service you should probably find a different mystery shopping service.

Step 5

Determine if you're interested in mystery shopping companies who provide additional services such as telephone mystery shopping, and if those services are included, or charged at an extra rate. Not all mystery shopper services are handled at the store. Mystery shopper work by telephone is a great way to keep an eye on your customer service or sales department while you're not around. This can be used to make sure your employees are providing accurate pricing information about your business, and that they are acting professional and polite on the phone.