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Factors to Consider in Selecting a Mystery Shopping Provider

Like any business engagement, the selection of a mystery shopping provider will depend, at least in part, on the "chemistry" between the players. If your interaction with the representatives of a mystery shopping company leads to an instant rapport with them, that may be a significant factor to you. Obviously, though, the key issues to consider involve the company's ability to develop and execute a mystery shopping program that will satisfy your company's needs. Some of the factors that might be important to your selection decision include:

  • Company's experience in conducting mystery shopping in your industry. All other things being equal, a company that already knows your industry may be in a better position to serve you than a company that will have to learn as it develops your program

  • Company's access to shoppers in necessary locations. Today, almost any mystery shopping company can rapidly develop access to mystery shoppers in virtually any area, so finding shoppers is not likely to be a significant issue. However, if your program will involve rapid deployment in many locations, the size of a company's existing database of shoppers and the locations of those shoppers could be important. If those are important factors, let the respondents to your RFP know that in advance and let them know where you will need shoppers.

  • Company's ability to offer additional customer experience measurement and management tools. If it is important to your company that you have a single source for mystery shopping along with customer satisfaction measurement, interactive voice response, customer service training, and other customer experience measurement and management tools, you will want to inquire of prospective providers whether they can offer them, either directly or through collaboration with other firms.

  • Company's commitment to behave with integrity. Every industry has players who do not reflect well on the integrity of its members. Mystery shopping is no different; there are companies that will behave unethically and will make promises they cannot keep. While there is no foolproof way of checking into the integrity of a company, we recommend you put it flatly to prospective providers: if you learn that they engage in unethical behaviors while under contract with you, they will be replaced. MSPA requires its members to sign ethics agreements annually (the content of which appears below). While we cannot guarantee that every member will abide by the agreement, we can say that MSPA takes seriously the integrity of its members.


* Artículo publicado por: Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA).

The MSPA is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 260 member companies worldwide, our diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Our member companies work with their clients to establish mechanisms to measure and improve levels of service.