Important Shopper Registration Update

Shopper Registration UpdateUntil now, we have required every shopper to provide their social security number during registration since we are required to report shopper income on a 1099 form if they exceed $600. That information was encrypted and all proper security measures adhered to.

Still, it seems every month or so we hear about another major company with a security breach and millions of people’s personal information obtained. As a proactive measure, SCI has decided to change our process and what we store.

Social Security numbers are no longer required during the registration process. All shoppers that registered previously will have that information deleted from our system.

From this point forward, we will only collect that information when we are required to have it for federal or state reporting requirements. Shoppers will be advised when it is required. We will only retain it on our system for as long as we need it for reporting purposes.

Our shoppers are one of our greatest resources and we want to continue to make their experience with SCI the best it can possibly be. Thank you for the many years of partnership!

Mystery Shopping Services Review

We love helping our clients so when one of them reaches out to us with their praises we are always grateful. See what one of our loyal customers had to say about us:

I just wanted to reach out to you and recognize how outstanding and amazing your associate is. Pat is a valuable asset to the overall Toyota team and Mystery Shop program. In my last 6 months in the Digital Marketing team, Pat has assisted us with identifying holes in our program and coming up with ideas to improve. I enjoy working with her as well as Elizabeth. When I reach out to Pat for help, I know I can rely on her for quick responses. Her work ethic and overall positive attitude is a great contribution and extension to our Toyota Digital Marketing Team.

-Digital Dealer Experience Planner
Toyota Motor Sales, USA

Mystery Shopping Company Displays New Video

Marketing Outlook Forum

Shoppers’ Critique International is happy to announce that Paul Bell (National Sales Director) attended the 2014 Travel and Tourism Research Association’s Marketing Outlook Forum in Atlanta, GA. The aim of this forum was to get a global perspective on the industry by bringing together all manner of practitioners and researchers to look at the future of the industry.

As a leading network event for the travel and tourism industry, there were a number of high quality educational programs in addition to the great marketing forums. Many offices, airlines, hotels, and travel industry suppliers from the United States and Canada attended these events. “This was a very insightful event and I enjoyed the entire conference. The travel and tourism landscape is always changing and this was an opportunity for us at Shoppers’ Critique to gain insight from industry leaders.” said Bell.

Florida Attractions Foundation Golf Tournament

On October 10, 2014, Jake Dancy and Paul Bell of Shoppers’ Critique International participated in the 17th annual Florida Attractions Foundation Golf Tournament. This year’s amazing event was held at Kissimmee’s Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, with the focus on bringing together the top tourism industry leaders for a day of fun. “What a great event! We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with our partners at the FAA as well as our fellow FAA members”, said Jake Dancy. “It’s a good thing we weren’t evaluating our golf skills, otherwise we would have found a lot of room for improvement. We really enjoyed spending time with our colleagues and look forward to continuing to work together. We have developed deep relationships with the FAA and the membership and it’s always a special day when we can get together outside of the office,” said Paul Bell.

In addition to the tournament itself, there was also a silent auction where the benefits went to the Florida Attractions Foundation, a program that provides scholarships to students who are entering into hospitality and tourism related fields. “We were honored to participate in this special event, and equally pleased that proceeds from the silent auction go to this wonderful charity” said Jake Dancy.

Recognizing Problems in Your Restaurant

Restaurant owners have a lot on their plate. Not only do they have to worry about serving great food

to their customers, they have to make sure they are providing the best dining experience possible.

Restaurant patrons not only critique the food, but the service, staff, atmosphere and overall feeling they

get during their meal.

Owners of smaller restaurants may not always have control over all of the elements mentioned. If they

are the chef, they may not be able to keep up with the front of the house during a dinner rush or maybe

they haven’t found anyone to help with management. Critics or mystery shoppers can help a restaurant

owner pinpoint the problems, which need to be addressed in all areas of their business.

From the service side of the dining industry, it can seem as though people like to complain to get

something for free. With the recent increase in review writing that has become popular, everyone

can say what they feel. It is important to keep an eye on what your everyday customers say about

your restaurant and your food, but keep in mind some people talk because they can. People have their

own idea of a perfect meal. Don’t ever ignore a bad review or complaint, but realize you can’t please


The main complaints to be taken into consideration in this business are food preparation, plating

techniques, food handling, service provided by the wait staff and ticket times. If you receive consistent

complaints in any of these categories, it may be time to meet with your staff and address the problem.

Each group of workers in a restaurant must work together to create synergy in food preparation and

service. If the ticket times are slow, impatient guests will wait too long for their food or attention from

their server. In that case, it is hard to change a diner’s opinion of your restaurant. Sometimes, mediocre

food can be overcome by great service and a pleasant experience. Other times, your amazing food is

being overshadowed by rude or inattentive staff members.

It can be difficult to accept that things are going wrong with your business. Admitting you need help

takes acceptance and self confidence. It’s better to ask for assistance than to let your dream crumble

and be left with just your pride. If you see a decrease in sales or you need help getting out of a rut, a

mystery shopping company can help you sort out your biggest kinks. Criticism from the public allows

you to see what is wrong, but a mystery shop report enables you to fix the problem in private, instead

of issues being announced publicly. The mystery shopping company will assist you in putting together a

plan to pick up business and please your clientele.

Four Representatives of Shoppers’ Critique to Attend the 2014 CXE3 Conference

We are excited to announce that we will be sending four representatives to a customer experience conference in Mid-October that will be put on by MSPA-NA. Shoppers’ Critique is one of the charter members of the MSPA. We proud to see a strong representation of the association meeting in our home town.Customer Experience Conference

Event: MSPA CXE3 Customer Experience Conference: Engage, Educate, Enhance
CSI: Orlando – Customer Service Investigation: Solving the Mystery of the Future of Customer Service

To be held at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, FL from October 15th through the 17th.

To keep pace with the increasingly wide-range of issues faced by providers – regardless of the industry, MSPA-NA has expanded the 2014 conference to include topics that address the impact of the customer service experience overall.

Since we are in the business of measuring customer experience, we are excited to be attending this event. We will take the opportunity to network with other providers and be in intriguing sessions on how to prepare for the changing landscape of customer relations. The knowledge we pick up from this event will make us better able to take on the challenges of being a mystery shopping company and more efficient in serving our current and future clients.

Keep Customers Coming Back by Avoiding Common Mistakes

Retail sales is a tough gig these days because of the increase in online shopping. Even in the real world, retail salespeople make mistakes, but how they handle them makes all the difference.

Some shoppers think they do not need to talk to a salesperson in the store if they are doing most of their shopping online. However, talking directly with a salesperson can benefit the customer because they can receive immediate help and learn about another product if the initial product turns out to be ineffective.

Here are some of the most common mistakes retail associates make:

• Not building a rapport with the customer. Salespeople often fail to greet a customer, which should be the first step in the sales process. For customers who need help and want to be helped, a greeting starts the conversation. Friendly, pleasant salespeople will keep customers happy and coming back for more. Customers remember those who do not greet them.
• Not finding out what the customer needs. Asking what they need help with allows the sales associate to direct them. Salespeople are there to fulfill a need, but if they cannot identify it, they will not be much help. Sales managers should know the customer and make sure their needs are top priority. Their goal is making the sales process easy. Without that, the sale is lost and so is the customer.
• Not listening. Listening to the customer more will make them a better salesperson overall. Many salespeople are paid, based on their sales, but that is not the best structure when keeping the customer in mind. Giving someone an incentive to sell something creates a pushy situation and will rub the customer the wrong way. Salespeople should not confuse telling with selling. If a salesperson is constantly trying to sell the customer something instead of listening to their problem to help solve it, this is the wrong method.
• Not knowing about promotions when the customer asks. A customer seeking the best deal depends on a salesperson to make that happen. The salesperson should tell them why the company is the best option for them. Salespeople should be trained on the benefits and functions of the products to make the customer feel positive about making the purchase.
• Not addressing a dissatisfied customer immediately. If a customer is not happy with something, a good salesperson will notice and fix it immediately. The salesperson should feel out the customer, be attentive to their needs and suggest add-ons. Once the main sale is made, the salesperson should keep in mind complementary products.

These common mistakes seem easy enough to fix. A successful salesperson gets experience over time and learns from mistakes that will improve their sales technique.


Why you should consider hiring a mystery shopping company?

You own a business and want to evaluate your company as a whole; that is, not through the eyes of an owner but through the eyes of your customer, to know what your customer feel about your services and products and you find it difficult to track down if their needs are perfectly met, then you should hire a mystery shopping company. They can come out with astonishing reports which can be utilised to improvise your venture and thus ensuring a boom in the number of customers approaching you. Mystery shopping: Technically speaking, mystery shopping is a market research tool used by companies to evaluate the quality of service offered and it had been in use since 1940’s. From then mystery shopping was extensively in use and had emerged as a separate industry with a value of over $600 million in United States. The key aspect that makes mystery shopping important is its method of evaluation. We can get a report on our venture from the customer’s perspective which makes it unique from other market research tools. What services does a mystery shopping company offer? When you approach a mystery shopping company what they initially do is conducting a detailed study about your company, the products or services that you provide and the standards to be met. Then they hire a mystery shopper who approaches your company as a normal customer in disguise, whose prime job is the evaluation of certain constraints which your company is supposed to have met. They can some time even behave odd or may be aggressive just to know how your employees handle an irritated customer. They may at time create an issue as if in case of restaurants that the food doesn’t have what it claims to and even take the issue right up to the chef or you to make an analysis of the way the problems are handled. The constraints that they seek to be met includes the greeting time, the waiting time, the cleanliness of the location, dress code, and the way your employees handle the customers. Once the analysis is complete they concentrate on providing you with a report, a detailed report on what their findings are. It includes both good and bad that they had analyzed in your venture. Next they arrange a discussion with you to let you know about where to improve and thus increasing your chances of foot fall. When you are done with your improvising they approach you again to make sure that you had made improvements and thus assure a helping hand to ensure a steady growth in your graph. What type of companies can hire them? Are you thinking over like I am not a big shot to hire a mystery shopper?? Then you are absolutely wrong!! When you don’t find time to analyze your customer’s needs and you can’t reach out to see if all the ends meet you can hire them. The size or turn over never ever matters in hiring a mystery shopper, what really matters is are you ready to make an analysis of your own venture to improvise it. Now what sort of companies can have approach them?? Simply all! Almost all enterprise can have their help irrespective of what they do and what they provide. Restaurants, hotels, retailers, shopping malls, textile ventures, amusement parks, banks and even hospitals can have their service. Big or small, product or service whatever you offer the main concern is total customer satisfaction. May be you believe you are providing your best to them but is this what they expect from you. If a twist or a turn can bring them back to you what is wrong in analyzing how to achieve it. The benefits of hiring one… Before hiring one what could actually be the benefits that you may have, in short a considerable increase in your performance along with a rise in sales and profitability. Provides an update of the real time marketing approach and helps you improve along with it. You can experience a better brand compliance and an assured brand promise to the customers. Identifying the pitfalls from the core and identifying the areas where the employees need training are add on advantages of hiring a mystery shopping company.

How to become a mystery shopper

Looking for extra money or just something to do as a part-time job? Mystery shopping could be that thing that you are looking for. Forget the sketchy looking ads for mystery shopping jobs that you see online on job boards. Mystery shopping is a real job and there are reputable companies that do pay for your input on local businesses.

The first step, if you are thinking about a becoming a mystery shopper, is to do your research! If you see scam reports on a company anywhere online, run away! Another warning sign is if a company tries to make you pay to register to become a mystery shopper. You should never have to pay. That situation is a scam, every time.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Look for accreditation or associations that the company is part of. If they are part of the Better Business Bureau, contact them to get reviews and see their status. An A+ rating is best. This goes for any business that you work with. Also take a look at some of the companies that they represent. A reputable business is most likely to work with other reputable businesses.

Once you find a company that you feel comfortable, go straight to their website or give them a call. Do not register for a job off of a job board. There should be a place on the company’s website with information on how to register and most have the registration right on the site. Fill out the registration and someone will be in contact with you.

You will only be asked to perform shopping jobs within a certain area, depending on where you live. Please note, if you are trying to make a full-time job out of this and support a family, it is not a realistic goal. This job is perfect for supplemental income for people that can pay attention to detail. Liking the activity of shopping doesn’t hurt either.

Thank you to our current and future shoppers for all of your help. We couldn’t provide the great information to our clients that we do without your work. To register to become a shopper with us click here.