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Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

TaskRabbit, the handyman-for-hire app, just announced that their network had been hacked by cybercriminals, putting over 1.25 million Taskers at risk for having their personal and financial data stolen.

During the investigation, the app and website will be temporarily be taken down while cybersecurity investigators and law enforcement determine what happened.

Cybersecurity image of a padlock over a screen of jumbled text. TaskRabbit was hacked by cybercriminals, so we thought this was an appropriate image to post.We wanted to alert you because we know many mystery shoppers like to use systems like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and GigWalk. Some stores and brands will hire mystery shoppers to perform small tasks, like take a picture of a store or buy a sandwich, and upload the results to the client.

The mystery shoppers are then paid by the client, and money is either placed into their app’s account, or they can be paid directly to your PayPal account. (Some apps may even let you connect directly to your bank account. We don’t suggest you do this.)

If you use TaskRabbit, or any other mystery shopping/task completion service, here are a few things you’ll want to do to protect yourself online (plus a few others in that link right there).

  1. Change your password. One of the things the criminals took were all the usernames and passwords of all the accounts. So change your password immediately. And use something that’s easy for you to remember, but hard to figure out. Don’t worry about the whole *8)R83CRD[$3cuZGq kind of password. Pick a really long sentence that only you will remember — HotDogsArenNotedForTheirUnusualHistory — and write it down somewhere. You should be using passwords like this all the time anyway. And if you can swing it, get a password vault like 1Password (which runs on Mac and Windows), or KeePass (which is free and Windows-based), and you can save all these complex passwords without having to ever remember them.
  2. If you’re on TaskRabbit, disconnect your PayPal or bank account. We’re not sure if the criminals can get your credentials this way, but you don’t want to find out that they were able to drain your PayPal account. Change your PayPall password while you;re at it.
  3. Set up a account. If you’re on TaskRabbit, they may offer you a free year of credit monitoring from someone like Equifax or Experian (which is a problem in itself, since Experian was hacked last year). But Credit Karma is more thorough and can help you keep an eye out on unusual transaction. Take the free credit monitoring they offer, but just know that if the criminals have your account information now, they can use it two years from now, long after the credit monitoring has run out.
  4. Change your email password. The worst thing that can happen is that you lose control of your email account. A crook only has to change your email password, and then start visiting sites like your PayPal account or bank, click the Forgot My Password link and enter your (their) email address. Then they’ve got your new password and access to your account.
  5. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication wherever possible. Two-factor authentication (TFA) is an extra security step that sends a short code to your mobile phone. When you log into your Gmail, PayPal, or other important sites, you’ll be asked for that code, and you can’t proceed until you give it. At the same time, if you ever receive a TFA code on your mobile phone for no reason, you’ll know that someone tried to get into your account, but can’t without that code.

At Measure CP, we take every measure we can to protect our mystery shoppers from cyberattacks and criminal activity, and we’re sure TaskRabbit did too. But there are so many ways for criminals to break in that no one can ever be 100% safe. (You only have to look at the Experian and Target data breaches to know that. The Target breach was through a third-party contractor who fell victim to a phishing email.)

So practice good web security. Use complicated, but easy-to-remember passwords, or better yet, store them in a password vault. Change any and all passwords associated with TaskRabbit or any other site that has been hacked. And turn on two-factor authentication on your important accounts, like your primary email, your bank, and anywhere else you want that extra measure of protection.

Photo credit: TypographyImages (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Working as a mystery shopper isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In fact, our goal is to make things as easy and uncomplicated as we can.

The goal of a mystery shopping agency like ours is to provide our clients with a customer’s-eye-view of how their business operates. Working on the premise that “when the cat is away, the mice will play,” everyone knows that the way a business operates while the manager is around than when he or she is out. And smart business executives want to know that their carefully-honed image, service, and business plan is being run the way they expect it to.

They want smiling faces, friendly greetings, full service, clean facilities, and any other expectations and goals they have set for their entire operation. But they can’t be there to monitor it all the time.

Enter the mystery shopper.

This is the person who visits a particular business, branch, or individual location, looks for a few select items on a checklist, and reports back to the mystery shopping agency. The agency collects all the reports from all the shoppers working on this particular “case,” and presents it to the client.

The client can see what’s working and what’s not in each location. Maybe they expect all their staff to greet customers with a smile, and to say “thank you” at the end of a transaction. At Chick-fil-A, employees are expected to say “My pleasure” whenever a customer says thank you. The mystery shopper will keep track of that and note whether the company associate did what they were supposed to.

OYou never know where your role as a mystery shopper could take you. This is a young woman standing at a coffee shop counter.r maybe the bathrooms have to be cleaned every hour, and need to look presentable anytime a member of the public walks in. The mystery shopper will visit the bathroom during the visit and report on its condition.

The mystery shopper is usually expected to buy a particular service — buy a chicken sandwich; get their oil changed; test drive a car; visit a senior living facility; take a phone in for repairs — and they’ll be reimbursed, plus they’ll be paid.

After they buy the service, the mystery shopper will then fill out a report, answer all questions, and write up a brief statement about their visit, and sent it all back. The information may be uploaded on a website, it could be filled out on a mobile app, or it could even be that the shopper had to shoot a video on their mobile phone and then upload it to the mystery shopping agency.

(This means you have to be somewhat tech savvy. If you’re not, be sure to practice, PRACTICE, PRACTICE with your technology before you go on your first shop. You don’t get paid if you can’t deliver the information the client needs.)

A mystery shopper is basically the eyes and the ears of company management, looking for all the problems, challenges, and even the successes of the company associates. They help the company find opportunities for improvement and training, so they can better serve their customers, keep more of them happy, and keep them returning.

If you would like to be a mystery shopper, you can sign up to join the Measure CP team by visiting our special application page. We hope to work with you soon!

Photo credit: (Creative Commons 0, Public Domain)

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Compliance checks are essentially surprise inspections that federal government agencies and local law enforcement will carry out to ensure that a retail establishment is following the rules and laws created by the government concerning the products being sold.

In other words, they check up on stores to make sure they’re not doing anything illegal.

One example of a compliance check is the age compliance check, which is done to ensure people buying alcohol and tobacco are the legal minimum age to purchase it. The legal age for buying alcohol is 21, and it’s 18 for buying tobacco.

Rum display in a liquor store. Minors are often sent in to buy alcohol during compliance checks.Alcohol retailers that fail to card their customers to determine their age can be penalized and fined by the local law enforcement agencies or the state’s Liquor Control Board, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement. However, it’s usually the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that conducts tobacco compliance checks.

The FDA calls them “Undercover Buy Inspections,” where the retailer is not aware the inspections are taking place. Minors, or people who look very young, will come into the store, buy the product, and then the enforcement begins — it starts with a warning letter or ticket.

A second infraction draws a monetary penalty that can be pretty stiff. Two violations in 12 months is $279, four violations in 24 months will cost you $2,236, and six violations in 48 months costs $11,182. So these guys aren’t messing around!

And if you persist in violating the law, the FDA can hit you with a No-Tobacco-Sale Order (NTSO), where you’re not allowed to sell tobacco products at that specific location for a long period of time.

What About Marijuana Compliance Checks?

Meanwhile, in states where it’s legal to sell marijuana, compliance checks are often overseen by local law enforcement and the Liquor Control Boards

For example, a recent check on underage marijauana sales by Washington State, where it’s legal to sell and use recreational marijuana, saw an 88 percent compliance rating with local laws.

But it’s not just underage sales that are the problem. In states that allow medical marijuana sales, there is a myriad of rules and regulations the dispensaries have to follow.

According to, these are the top five most common medical marijuana dispensary infractions.

  • The license does not immediately input all marijuana and marijuana product(s) into the State-mandated inventory tracking system and account for all variances.
  • The dispensing facility does not have accurate or updated tracking logs for visitors, security and/or waste.
  • The business does not have all required financial business documentation available as required (federal and state).
  • Marijuana and marijuana product sold to patients does not include all required public health and safety warning statements as required by law.
  • Surveillance cameras do not have clear, unobstructed views of the license premise and blind spots or sight obstructions exist.

Compliance checks can be a royal pain, especially if you’re the one caught selling products to underage buyers or patients who don’t have the right paperwork. This is where it helps to work with a mystery shopping agency.

Mystery shoppers can help liquor and tobacco retailers and marijuana dispensaries stay in compliance with their local laws. Many times, it’s the clerks and non-owners/non-managers who either aren’t fully aware of the laws or don’t have a vested interest in avoiding penalties and fines causing the problem. Working with a mystery shopping agency like Measure CP can help you run spot compliance checks without actually suffering any financial and legal penalties from anything we find. Our job is to report our findings to management, so we can help you find any shortfalls and holes in training.

And we don’t just have to do compliance checks; we can do other checks, such as restroom cleanliness, condition of the stores, friendliness of the staff, or anything else you want to know about at your retail establishment.

To learn more about mystery shopping and compliance checks, please contact us for more information or to speak to one of our mystery shopping experts.

Photo credit: O’Dea (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.)—Measure Consumer Perspectives (Measure CP), a leading market research firm and mystery shopping company, announced the release of Envision, powered by Dapresy. This new solution gives businesses an all-in-one visualization platform that transforms any data point — including survey data, marketing, sales, social media, and advertising — into actionable business intelligence.

Envision leverages the breadth of market research data generated by Measure CP’s data collection services, along with best-in-class business intelligence reporting, infographics and storytelling tools, to help businesses better understand the customer experience across all areas.

Data visualization has emerged as an essential business practice with limitless potential, but some companies still struggle to find solutions that match their goals and employee skill set. Envision was designed with a drag-and-drop user interface to simplify the adoption of data visualization technology and make data actionable for everyone.

With Envision, businesses can:

  • Integrate survey data and display it in a way all stakeholders can understand.
  • Create compelling dashboards and reports using Envision’s more than 2,000 infographics.
  • Export dashboards and reports instead of building presentations in PowerPoint.
  • Track and analyze all sales, marketing, social media, advertising and survey data in a single platform.
  • Involve entire teams in decision-making and give individuals at all levels the power to use data for themselves.

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP

“With so much data and not always plentiful information, Envision will simply reporting at all levels of an organization by beautifully displaying data with our dashboards in a meaningful and easy to understand way,” said Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP.

“We’re excited to launch this very innovative solution allowing businesses the ability to capture their data in a single place and use our library of graphics to build a dynamic dashboard or import their own branded elements.”

Envision is built for companies of all sizes, including large enterprises and small to medium businesses. The platform meets all reporting needs for trackers, syndicated reporting or voice of the customer programs.

Envision is available via a tiered pricing program. Our knowledgeable team will work with customers to determine the best fit for each business’s needs.

About Measure CP

With over 16 years of market research and mystery shopping experience, Measure CP is an innovator and a trusted research partner. Our business was built from the ground up, starting with just a handful of clients to providing some of the world’s largest brands and companies with our unique intelligence and research services.

At Measure CP, we take pride in our ability to deliver wide-ranging data collection capabilities to our clients and cutting edge solutions that offer actionable intelligence. We offer a complete solution for capturing experiences, including mystery shopping, brand auditing, compliance checks, and field research. Measure CP uses traditional, mobile, geocoded, and hidden camera technologies in order to bring pertinent insights to clients about brand, customer, and service experiences. These insights — enhanced with robust reporting and integrated with customer, employee, social and sales data — help tell a more accurate story about the brand-health of an organization.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Protecting investments comes in many forms. For hospitality and dining, ensuring identification and compliance checks are constantly safeguarding liquor licenses provides continuity in catering to patrons’ needs and hitting sales targets. All too often, establishments serving alcohol fail to recognize that training bartenders and servers with real world scenarios helps prep them for stings and audits, preventing unnecessary fines.

While training programs define company cultures and expectations, those can be difficult for management to observe and verify in high-volume locations or when staffing is light. Even seasoned employees make errors. Having a second set of eyes providing training feedback and giving age compliance insights can help businesses stay compliant with state and federal laws. Utilizing objective outside resources can capture the guest experience and verify compliance.

Instead of only having state alcohol compliance checks alerting you about deficiencies, launching internal age compliance checks provides you with another channel for identifying opportunities before they become penalties. By giving your business a buffer and additional layer of insights, you can identify training gaps and prescribe a remedy before encountering a costly mistake. Having a system in place to verify follow-up, action, and resolution are equally essential and should work in tandem with your program.

In addition to internal alcohol compliance checks, tighten the cork by confirming that measured pours are happening without losses and inventory depletion. While maintaining a liquor license is critical, verifying pour accuracy can prevent unnecessary waste and make sure patrons receive a properly prepared beverage. Over-pouring can add up quickly, resulting in unexpected shrink.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

It’s finally here—2017! We’re excited about the New Year and our clients are optimistic, too. With consumer confidence rising and businesses expanding their toolkits to streamline processes and digitize, one thing remains critical across industries, customer experience. As hospitality reservations increase, so too does consumer goods spending and dining out, meaning more guest and customer touch points requiring observation, evaluation and optimization.

Survey verbatim across multiple verticals says one thing, how a guest feels is critical to building repeat business and retention is based on positive customer experiences. Guests have many options when dining out, choosing their assisted living partner or which hotel chain they’ll frequent. Capturing guest feedback across various channels ensures you not only identify opportunities but easily remedying issues and documenting them digitally helps improve efficiencies, meaning spending time optimizing the guest experience.

Inspect what you expect. If you have high expectations and deliverables for your clients, are you measuring what’s expected of your team? Are you able to objectively capture the guest experience from beginning until end? Most top brands know it’s critical to look at what’s under the microscope and observe the guest experience, organically.  How your brand or company measures guest interactions is unique to your experience. By identifying and replicating best practices, you can ensure your customer experience meets the demanding and ever-changing preferences of consumers.

With an energized economy and fierce competition growing across market segments, 2017 is the optimal time to begin peeling back the onion and determining if your brand experience will meet consumer expectations. Beyond the front-line engagement, what other opportunities and savings might you identify?  What training improvement will arise? Or what best practice will transform your business into a customer-centric powerhouse?  You can take action and learn by leveraging survey and data collection tools and analyzing results.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Some business owners think customer loyalty is only earned through offering repeat business programs like loyalty cards, and offering regular specials and coupons.

Customer loyalty can actually be earned through providing excellent customer service, and making sure customers are pleased with the service they are getting.

That is why mystery shopping can play a much bigger role in establishing customer loyalty for restaurants and stores: because mystery shopping can help management learn where they have shortcomings and problems, and provide staff feedback and training to help them overcome those problems.

customer loyalty

English: Different customer loyality cards (airlines, car rental companies, hotels etc.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With mystery shopping, management can get unbiased, objective feedback on those areas that concern them the most. Whether it is the amount of time customers have to wait before they receive help and attention, the taste of the food, the cleanliness of the facilities, or the favorability of the programs and specials, all of these areas can affect customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Mystery shopping helps with customer loyalty, because it shows management just what people are thinking when they visit that establishment. What typically happens is when managers watch the staff to make sure they are doing everything right, the staff does everything perfectly. But their standards may slip when they know no one is watching them. Mystery shopping lets managers watch the staff without being onsite.

It also helps them better train the staff to avoid problems that might drive away customers and hurt customer loyalty. If the staff can fix problems, and avoid screw ups, customers will have a better experience, and will be more likely to return.

Finally, if staff know they are being mystery shopped, but do not know when it will happen, they are more likely to provide better service at all times. Better service means more customers will be happy. Happy customers will tell their friends, and become evangelists for the business. As they tell more people, they will also have more affinity for it, and will be more likely to return, becoming regulars to the business.

And as more people visit the business, because of those recommendations, they too will enjoy the benefits of improved service, and can also become raving fans and returning regulars. That is the essence of good customer loyalty.

Ultimately, mystery shopping becomes more than just a report card for businesses. It is a tool for customer loyalty and customer experience management. Managers who want to improve their customer loyalty programs should consider working with a mystery shopping agency to see how they can improve.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

So, the first weekend of every month…

…there is a Flea Off Market here in town. It is full of arts, crafts, vintage items, some amazing hipster watching, craft cocktails and best of all…FOOD TRUCKS!

The Quirky Consumer has a tremendous weakness for BBQ, almost an addiction. There are so many cuisine choices, but I almost always veer towards a vendor with smoked pork. Few things make me happier than Carolina style pulled pork with coleslaw on it, you really need the cole slaw. Unless the Lobster Roll guy is there, his lobster bisque is so delicious you would trade your toddler for a second bowl. Seriously, I will eat it even if the temperature outside is equivalent to that of the surface of the sun. It is just that amazing. I digress.

Anyway, there are areas with long tables set up, so generally, you just pick an open seat and end up talking to whoever is next to you. I had had a brief culinary bond with a guy in the BBQ line as we perused the menu board out loud, discussing the various possibilities of how we would eat our BBQ. Sandwich? Nachos? Tacos?

I collected my food and found an empty picnic table in the blistering sun and sat down to eat. A few minutes later, the guy I had been talking to in line plopped down with a huge stack of napkins. I was slightly puzzled, but grateful because truth be told, when I am really hungry I eat like a wolverine. Also, I had neglected to get enough napkins so I didn’t really question why he had so many. He just handed me a stack without comment.

The Quirky Consumer and her donut adventures.A couple of minutes later, his adorable girlfriend bounded up to the table holding something amazing in her hands. My eyes were drawn to it like a magnet and I immediately asked what it was. She paused with her fork in midair to explain that it was a pineapple rum glazed doughnut with homemade whipped cream and a black cherry puree. It looked like heaven on a paper plate. I could sense her frustration mounting as she tried to cut through the delectable doughnut with a flimsy plastic fork. Finally, she just picked it up with her hand and shoved it straight into her mouth. Her boyfriend and I looked on in amazement and glee. He had clearly witnessed this before, therefore the stack of napkins. When she pulled the doughnut away, her face was covered in whipped cream. Literally. I mean there was even whipped cream up her nose. She did not care. Her boyfriend tried to dab at her face with a napkin and she pushed his hand away in order to finish her doughnut unperturbed. It was if she was in some sort of dessert rapture and I knew that I had to have one for myself.

Since it was, as mentioned before, approximately five thousand degrees, I decided to get one on the way out and eat it in the air-conditioned comfort of my car. I went up to the Hi-Five Donut truck and explained to the woman who runs it what I had just witnessed and we both kind of celebrated in the awesomeness of such a thing. I told her I wanted the exact same donut and that I planned to eat it in my car with the air conditioning on full blast. She said that was the best idea ever. As I was walking away, she called out to me asking if I had tinted windows in my car. I was puzzled for a minute as to why she would ask such a thing. She said if I did, it was her suggestion that I take my shirt off to eat it. Then we both laughed and laughed. And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Evaluating an assisted living center can be a long, drawn-out experience, and can be fairly involved.

Still, it’s vitally important, since it’s already a legal requirement that all assisted living centers measure the satisfaction of their residents. A mystery campaign can help administrators identify problem areas before they ever become so big, they affect the residents’ satisfaction, resulting in lower performance on the state’s satisfaction surveys.

But not all shopping campaigns have to involve site visits. In fact, we don’t even recommend that that’s the first step you take. If anything, a mystery shopping campaign should include, or at least start with, a phone call. That’s because many assisted living center visits already start with a phone call, so why not make sure you’re presenting your best possible image at the earliest possible moment.

When you begin working with a company like MeasureCP, we put together a program just for you that examines the factors that are most important to your assisted living facility. We will work with you to create a mystery shopping program that looks for specific pain points within your organization.

Once you’ve agreed upon the list of criteria, we choose our roster of shoppers and start making phone calls to your assisted living centers, acting as potential customers. We’ll run through the series of questions that we have both agreed upon, and find out how your staff does during this initial contact. When we’re done, we’ll create a full report for you on our findings.

Here are some typical factors we look for during a call:

  • Staff members’ personalities and helpfulness.
  • Hold time.
  • Number of transfers.
  • Comprehensive nature of information given.

Be sure that you’re providing the best possible experience to your current and potential residents and their families by bringing mystery shoppers into the mix. Good customer service never gets old!

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Customer Experience Management is crucial in order to turn first-time customers into repeat customers, and even loyal fans.

When a customer’s experience is poor or marked with mistakes and poor quality, he or she is less likely to recommend the business to his or her friends – and every good marketing student knows that word-of-mouth advertising is some of the most effective advertising a business can get. Destroy that and it will destroy a business’ reputation.

It is not hard to find a business that is mediocre at customer experience management. Many consumers are willing to try a new business, product, or service that offers lower prices than the competition. However, if they have a terrible time, they will not only NOT return, but even warn away everyone they can.

There are plenty of businesses that succeed with positive customer experience management. If a customer is unhappy with one business, there is always another that is willing to try harder with a better product and service. So the secret to a successful business is not only a good product or service, but effective customer experience management.

Good customer experience management will often surprise many customers, which is unfortunate, because one would hope it would be the opposite: people would rather be surprised by a poor experience, not a good one.

Good customer experience management can even save a business money. It is a common business adage that it costs more to attract new customers than it is to keep old ones. It takes advertising and marketing to bring in new customers. It takes specials and coupons. It takes a lot of hard work, all to bring in customers. So it doesn’t make sense to provide poor customer service and turn them away. But many businesses spend a lot of their time and money trying to win new customers, but never pay attention to any customer experience management tactics that can keep those customers coming back.

But by focusing on good customer experience management, loyal customers will return again and again. They do not have to be enticed with coupons and specials, marketing and advertisements, and other things that cost money. By reducing those marketing costs, it increases the business’ sales margins and profits.

Finally, a positive customer experience management focus can increase traffic through word-of-mouth marketing. That is, the happier a customer is, the more likely he or she is to tell friends about the great time they had. Their friends will be more interested in trying out the restaurant or store, and traffic will still increase.

The only cost to the business manager was making sure the customer was happy and had a good time. No expensive newspaper or magazine ads, no radio or TV commercials, and no wasting time and resources putting those things together. By just making sure the business is run well and that people are happy is enough to keep old customers coming back and new people coming in.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

So, this weekend I went to one of my favorite local Louisville restaurants and wine bar, Louvino. Again.  Not just because I love that place wholeheartedly, but because for whatever reason, I have had at least five of my dates choose it as our date destination. I could tell from the way the one bartender WHO HAS BEEN WORKING EVERY SINGLE TIME I HAVE BEEN THERE ON A DATE was looking at me that he thinks I am a “lady of the night.” I’m not, by the way. I’m just trying to navigate the whole online dating thing, but, I digress.

Why do I love Louvino so much? What makes me such a happy customer? So many reasons. First of all, they have delicious food. Small plates that aren’t too small, that are great for sharing and perfect when you’re indecisive and want a little bit of everything. Small plates are like Ritalin for people with food ADD.

My favorite restaurant makes me a happy customer because they have happy employees

Wine restaurant

They also have an amazing wine list and wine flights, also perfect for the indecisive wine drinker. Are you sensing a theme here?

The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The lighting is good (a bonus on those dates) and the seating is cozy and close together which often ends with you making friends with your neighboring diners.

But, none of these wonderful things would matter so much if it weren’t for the quality of service. Never once have I been there and had anything other than exceptional treatment from every employee I have encountered. Well, maybe with the exception of the bartender who kept shooting me sidelong glances, but I can’t say I blame him: I would be curious as well.

The servers explain the specials in a way that makes you want to order all of them. The bartenders make sure you always have a drink and engage you in just the right amount of conversation. Mainly, they all seem so enthusiastic and happy to be there that it is kind of contagious. They truly seem to love their jobs, which makes me think that the people that own it are doing something right. Well, obviously they are, they are getting ready to open two new locations.

In a nutshell, happy employees make for a happy customer, which makes for repeat business. It is a win/win for everyone.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?


Respondents often ask how they can better maximize their earnings. While it can take a variety of shops to reach your financial targets, it is important to know that Mystery Shopping Provider’s (MSP) entrust higher-value projects to those with a history of making accurate and high-quality submissions. Brands rely on very precise data to make business decisions, sometimes affecting multi-million dollar budgets, thus making it critical for assignments to be done correctly the first time.

Because many programs require you to follow certain criteria as directed by each client, here’s how you can understand all the steps necessary to achieve success.

How can improving quality lead to financial reward? MSPs typically make assignments available to those individuals with a strong record, based on their ability to accurately follow directions. Not only are quality and accuracy critical – timeliness is, too.

To help, we have collected four best practices designed to improve your skills!


1. Tools to Stay Organized

When accepting an assignment, check your calendar and be sure you are available to complete the assignment before or by the due date. Because assignments have deadlines, it is critical for you to finish on time; otherwise, clients lose valuable resources, leading to incomplete and unusable submissions.

Most smartphones today have a calendar feature with reminders and alarms. As soon as you accept the shop, add a reminder so you do not forget to complete it, especially when accepting an assignment in advance. Google offers a free calendar tool, making it easy to manage your tasks, especially if you are scheduling tasks for multiple MSPs.


2. Stay Objective, Don’t Let Things Become Personal

Shoppers are so passionate about their jobs that things can often become personal instead of objective. Scenarios and guidelines provide a framework to your interaction so that the client can focus on the data they are trying to measure. Objectivity and knowledge of the framework will keep your feedback accurate and be of more use to the client. This will help to capture the true essence of an interaction and make your feedback valuable.


3. Document All Steps Required

Most assignments have strict requirements such as keeping a receipt, recording any phone conversations, or visiting during a specified time. Be sure to keep all documentation required to prevent delays or incomplete submissions. Oftentimes, your payment is contingent upon submitting your records; delays can result when not submitting proper documentation.

In addition, be sure to keep backup copies and do not delete any files until you have been paid. This makes it easy to verify and reimburse you for any expenses correctly the first time! Cameras and cellphones make a great way to snap a record of the receipt and keep a digital copy.


4. Communication is Key, Especially When Issues Arise

Things do not always go as planned and sometimes issues come up. Whenever a problem arises, it is important to contact your scheduler as soon as possible. If a short timeframe is available to complete the shop and you are unable to complete the shop for any reason or need clarification, keep the communication lines open and call or email your contact to seek help.

Do not be afraid to raise your hand if you do not understand something or to let your MSP know you cannot complete things on time.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

(This article originally appeared in the Louisville Business First magazine. We have published it on the Measure CP website to share with our friends.)

The National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) Louisville chapter celebrated female business owners Tuesday evening at its 20th annual EPIC Awards event.

NAWBO presented Woman Business Owner of the Year awards in large- and small-business categories during the event, which was held at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center.

Diane Medley, a CPA and managing partner at Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP, was the recipient in the large-business category.

In 1988, Medley co-founded Chilton & Medley LLP, which merged with Mountjoy & Bressler LLP in 2009 to form Mountjoy Chilton Medley. It is the largest accounting firm in Louisville with 117 local accountants, according to Business First’s Feb. 21 list of the largest area accounting firms.

Medley is the only female managing partner in the United States’ top 100 professional and financial service firms. In 1995, she was one of Business First’s Who’s Who in Finance and Accounting.

The other finalists in the large-business category were Theresa Hinton, owner of Capacity Care Inc., and Kathy Mills, CEO of Strategic Communications.

Also at tonight’s event, NAWBO named Maggie Heely, owner of Event Warriors and Weekend Wedding Warrior LLC, its Woman Business Owner of the Year in the small-business category. Both of Heely’s businesses are event-management companies.

Heely moved to Louisville in 2009 with her husband, U.S. Army Captain Eric C. Heely. She has since become involved in the Junior League of Louisville, Kentucky Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Association of Bridal Consultants, Wish Upon a Wedding and Greater Louisville Outstanding Women.

The other finalists in the small-business category were: Lauren Coulter, co-owner of Uptown Art Louisville & Uptown Art New Albany; Maggie Payette Harlow, owner of Signarama Downtown; Kimberly Nasief, president and co-founder of Measure CP; Stephanie Ringer, chief fun officer at WorkShop, the creative workplace; and Peggy Noe Stevens of Peggy Noe Stevens & Associates.

NAWBO presented its Samuel G. Swope Humanitarian Award to Harlow for her community service work and community involvement. This is the first year for the Swope award.

Harlow owns Sign-A-Rama Downtown Louisville and Transworld Business Advisors of Louisville.

She has served as president of Louisville’s NAWBO chapter and is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Louisville.

In 2007, Harlow and her husband, Brian Harlow, started Signs of Support and have given away nearly $100,000 worth of signs and services to charities.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

If you want to improve your business, Measure CP can help. We are the next generation of consumer brand auditing, focusing on systematic ways to analyze and improve the customer experience of your business. We combine traditional mystery shopper services and brand auditing by using mobile and social media tools to provide a comprehensive view of your brand and the customer service experience that defines it.

Successful Business People Showing Thumbs Up. One of the ways we help companies improve the customer experience is through mystery shopping services. Measure CP’s mystery shoppers come from a variety of backgrounds and demographics. Mystery shoppers are moms, students, retirees, veterans, full-time shoppers, and part-time shoppers. Regardless of the differences in our mystery shopping team, they all share an interest in helping companies improve their customer service and customer experience.

The diversity of our mystery shoppers helps us ensure that we can match the right shopper to the right company. We go the extra mile to make sure that each shopper is analyzing the business that they’re best suited for. Once you begin working with us, we’ll immediately assess your needs and narrow down the field of mystery shoppers to those who are best suited to observe your business. Filtering our selections by shopper certifications and demographics, Measure CP will find the shoppers who will give you the most accurate picture of the customer experience that your business provides.

Our mission is to be your partner in improving your business. We provide a variety of services that can provide a clearer picture of how customers perceive your brand, and what you can do to bridge any gaps between where you stand now and your future goals for your company. Highly trained mystery shoppers are ready to perform a detailed analysis of your business and help you achieve the success you imagine for your company.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

How much do you know about the customer perspective of your business? If you spend time reading online reviews of your company on Google, Yelp or other websites, you may find some helpful information about what your business does well and what your business does better. But it takes a lot of work to find truly valuable information this way, since the majority of customers do not spend time writing online reviews. And although not all customers write reviews, anyone who visits your business will have a customer perspective that influences whether they’ll continue shopping with you or will go to a competitor.Successful Business People Showing Thumbs Up.

So, what is the customer perspective of your business? For better or for worse, perception is reality when it comes to your company’s customer perspective. There are lots of ways to gather information into what the customer perspective of your business is. Besides gathering online reviews, you could conduct focus groups, or ask customers to fill out paper or online surveys. These methods of researching customer perspective can be beneficial, but they are time consuming to execute. Also, there are many important details to consider regarding how questions are phrased and the timing of when you’re asking customers to share their perspectives. Those details may cause customers to unknowingly give biased feedback if the questions aren’t asked at exactly the right time, right place, and in the right manner.

To get the best picture of your company’s customer perspective, consider using a mystery shopping program. Mystery shopping programs first take time to understand the nuances of your business. To get a truly unbiased look at the customer perspective of your business, a mystery shopping program focuses on what an optimal shopping experience at your business should be like. How should your location look, on both the inside and outside of the storefront? How should employees be dressed, and what should they say to customers? Is the signage at your business clear? Is the layout of your location functional for both employees and customers? Is the speed of customer service what it should be?

A mystery shopping looks at all these qualities, and more. The first step in working with a mystery shopping program is the analysis. The mystery shopping provider will analyze your company’s operations and discovers what the customer experience should be like. Gaining knowledge of what a business owner wishes the customer perspective of the business to be is the best way to set benchmarks for improvement. The second step in working with a mystery shopping program is the actual mystery shopping experience. The program will send certified mystery shoppers into your business who are fully educated on the DNA of your operation. The mystery shoppers will report on how your processes and protocols are being followed, identifying what went well and what could be improved upon. The mystery shopping program mirrors the actual shopping experience, allowing the mystery shoppers to gain an unbiased view of the customer perspective. The third step in working with a certified mystery shopping program is the analysis of results. When you partner with a mystery shopping program, it will be impossible to gain a true picture of the customer perspective of your business if you don’t fully understand the results. Instead of being buried in numbers, make sure you partner with a mystery shopping program who helps you interpret the findings, showing you patterns of behavior and opportunities for growth.

In addition to gaining an honest and unbiased customer perspective of your organization, there are other benefits your business can gain from working with a mystery shopping program. You’ll be able to clearly determine customer satisfaction levels for your organization and can set benchmarks for improving customer perspective. Having a better understanding of the customer’s perspective of your business can also help you increase profits, because you’ll be able to alter the operations of your business in the ways that your customers will appreciate and respond to. You will gain a better understanding of your company’s competitive strengths and weaknesses, and you can identify solutions to problems within your company before they spiral out of control. Mystery shopping also helps you confirm the integrity of your employees, as well as determining if your company procedures and internal controls are effective and are being followed. Because your business likely has limited resources when it comes to training and continuing the education of employees, a mystery shopping program can show you the areas in which you need to focus in order to improve operations and customer service, and thus improve customer perspective. Overall, the real benefit of working with a mystery shopping program is that the results will help you gain a clear picture of the customer perception of your business. Since customer perception affects so many other aspects of your business, knowing the customer perspective can help you improve your business and continue growing your success.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

LOUISVILLE, KY (Nov. 5, 2013)— Measure CP, a Louisville-based brand auditing firm, has been awarded the Better Business Bureau of Louisville’s prestigious 2013 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in the small business category.

“This is a great honor for us,” said Kimberly Nasief, founder and president of Measure CP. “I started this organization to help other companies pay more attention to how they were treating their customers. It feels good to know that we are seen as practicing what we preach – especially by the BBB.”

kim_torch_awardThe BBB Torch Awards are open to all businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the Louisville, KY, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky markets, which have been in business at least three years and are in good standing with the BBB. Nominees are evaluated on four criteria: management practices, community/investor/stakeholder relations, communications and marketing practices and industry reputation.

“Winning a BBB Torch Award says a lot about a business’s reputation,” said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, BBB spokesperson, Better Business Bureau. “It’s business consumers can trust. BBB is proud to have Measure Consumer Perspectives as a BBB Torch Award winner and BBB-accredited business.”

According to the Better Business Bureau, the Torch Award honors businesses and non-profit organizations that maintain a solid commitment to conducting their business practices in an ethical fashion. The award supports their mission to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education and service excellence.

Measure CP is the next generation of consumer brand auditing, focusing on customer experience management by combining traditional mystery shopping and brand auditing with the most advanced mobile and social media tools to provide a 3-Dimensional view of clients’ brands and the customer service that defines them. Measure CP performs hundreds of thousands of mystery shops and brand audits each year, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon and all over the globe.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

In today’s business climate, mystery shopping firms protect a company’s most important asset – the customer experience.

For B2C companies, there is nothing more critical to success than fulfilling the brand promise. Sadly, most companies invest more money and effort in their marketing plans and store fixtures than they do in the front-line staff who do more to fulfill that brand promise than anyone else in the organization.

Real-Life Training

Whether it is the food service industry or retail, most front-line employee training looks something like the following:

• Day 1: Employee fills out paperwork and meets the team. At larger companies, the employee may watch some training videos.

• Afterwards, the employee shadows co-workers (who have received the same caliber of training) and spends some time with shift supervisors and managers, learning the ins-and-outs of the tasks associated with the job, like working the cash register, how to serve customers, and so-on.

• As soon as possible, the new employee is pushed out on the selling floor, forced to sink or swim and develop habits that will get him or her through the day. If there are no disasters and the employee shows up for work on-time, the training is deemed a success.

• From this point on, the employee will train subsequent new employees and be evaluated on whether or not key metrics, like new credit accounts or menu up-sells, are being met.

Some companies do a better job at preparing employees for the sales floor, but not many. Companies like Wal-Mart, whose success is based on being the low-price leader, can get away with a “good enough” attitude towards customer experience – customers will excuse the experience if the price is low enough.

But companies like Apple depend on the quality of the customer experience, and would soon lose customers in droves if they stopped investing in it. Apple’s ability to create a nearly unbreakable relationship with the customer is the key to success.

There are very few Wal-Marts and Apples out there, which means most B2C companies fall somewhere in-between. The trouble starts when the in-between companies behave like Wal-Mart and ignore customer experience in favor of slick marketing or some other strength. Employees are “trained” as in the model described above.

Other companies talk like Apple, but lack the commitment to truly execute Apple’s cult-like business model.

Once the marketing budget is cut or the strength is neutralized, what happens? That is when the in-betweeners get customer experience management religion. They put together committees who quickly discover that they have a host of dissatisfied customers who have abandoned their brand due to neglect.

Effective Customer Experience Management

Mystery shopping firms are the best defense against corporate complacency when it comes to customer experience management. Rather than paying lip service to the customer only to focus on more credit account conversions, committing to a third party audit of the customer experience puts a company’s money where its mouth is.

Here are a few examples of why a mystery shopping provider is a better conduit for understanding and improving the customer experience:

• Mystery shopping evaluates the customer experience in a real-life setting: When a front-line employee is with a trainer, she is on her best behavior, doing her best to remember all the things that go into properly executing the tasks being evaluated.

Mystery shopping firms send shoppers into real-life situations, where products are bought and sold in real-time. It is only by doing this that a company can get a true gauge of what their customers go through.

The front-line employee, having no idea he is being evaluated, will do the things he or she does when no one is watching – whether good or bad.

• Mystery shopping provides a standardized measurement across a network of locations: Let’s face it, a store manager or district manager doesn’t want to be the bottom feeder in a chain store environment, and that desire to succeed can lead to loose standards when it comes to scoring locations on evaluations.

Mystery shopping firms eliminate any kind of bias in evaluating by a) not having an emotional stake in the scoring of locations; and b) by having a standardized instrument that is used across the entire network of locations. When these two factors are coupled, B2C companies are equipped with a powerful tool for taking a crystal clear snapshot of the customer experience. Thus equipped with a new vantage point from which to see their operation, companies can make critical adjustments in how their stores and people interact with the customer.

• Mystery shopping firms provide powerful reporting tools: When evaluations are completed in a willy-nilly fashion across a network of locations, the results cannot be compared side by side. There is no integrity in the data.

Mystery shopping firms are uniquely suited for providing a suite of reporting tools that give B2C companies a 3-Dimensional view of their operation. Because the mystery shopping provider is using a standardized instrument with no emotional stake in outcomes, the data can be trusted and analyzed in the following types of reports:

o Rank by location by overall score

o Rank by location on a question-by-question basis

o Rank by employee

o Trending over time

o Recommended follow-up training

o Hierarchichal reporting that is designed for the C-Suite down to the store level

Mystery shopping firms work with clients to design reports that are the best fit for the B2C company’s goals.

In addition to traditional mystery shopping methods, where mystery shoppers visit the location, observe, then complete the survey offsite, a growing number of mystery shopping firms use hidden video technology to capture the most objective view possible of the customer experience, with high quality sound and imagery.

In a highly competitive world where almost all B2C companies sit somewhere between Wal-Mart and Apple, keeping a vigilant watch over the customer experience is the best way to grow and protect market share.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

The Louisville Business Journal named its 50 fastest growing businesses for 2013, and Measure CP was fortunate to be named one of the top 50!

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP, one of Louisville's business leaders

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP

We are very pleased to be recognized by the city and its business leaders for our work in helping companies reach their customers, protect their brand, and improve customer service. We have spent the last several years trying to serve our clients around the country, and our company has grown up around that mission.

Kimberly Nasief, President and founder of Measure CP, said, “I’m very proud of our staff and the hard work they’ve done, because it has contributed to our great growth. And this has helped us become one of Louisville’s fastest growing companies.”

Measure CP prides itself on delivering clients cutting edge solutions offering actionable intelligence — a platform offering wide-ranging data collection capabilities. Offering mystery shopping, brand auditing, compliance checks, and field research, we offer a complete solution for capturing experiences.

We use traditional, mobile, geocoded, and hidden camera technologies in order to bring clients pertinent insights into the brand, customer, and service experiences. These insights, enhanced with robust reporting, integrates customer, employee, brand, social, and sales data that tells a story about the brand health of the organization.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

Mystery shopping provides immediate and ongoing feedback that training companies can use to not only prove the effectiveness of their work, but also show where additional training may be needed. When your training company is hired to boost weak sales, how do you prove that your solution fixed the problem? Do you point to increased revenues? Performance reviews? Customer satisfaction scores? Those are all good metrics, but take time to collect and analyze. Measure CP’s mystery shopping services can be your definitive answer.

mystery shopping

Training Companies and Measure CP, How it Works:

1. Discover: This is where the critical success factors of your company’s training program are unpacked and understood. For example, what needs to be happening that was not happening previously? 2. Design: Once the experts at Measure CP understand what is expected, they will design the mystery shopping survey for each shopper to use to evaluate the customer experience. These surveys will be submitted to your company for approval prior to any shopping activities. 3. Develop: During the discovery phases, Measure CP will create a composite of what your company’s average or ideal customer looks like. This information will be used to recruit shoppers who will be trained to perform the mystery shopping activities needed. 4. Deploy: The final step is the launch of the program. From here, shoppers will interact with your staff, collect their findings, and submit the findings. The results are collected into various reporting tools that are customized for your specific needs.

Three Benefits of a Good Mystery Shopping Program

1. Provability: Many clients point to Measure CP as an independent, third party verifier of their solution, giving them an extra layer of credibility with their clients. 2. Value Add: Other clients white label our services as an additional service. 3. Consistency: Performance reviews can be subjective. Revenue growth/loss can be deceiving. Customer satisfaction scores are infrequent and unscientific. But, a well-designed mystery shopping program provides statistically valid objectivity that is impossible to refute.

The value in adding an effective mystery shopping program to an existing training program is undeniable, especially in the reporting. Good reports tell a thousand stories: they identify super-stars, they point out good and bad managers, and they show exactly where the training is or is not being followed.

To learn more about how Measure CP is helping training companies retain their clients and grow revenue through mystery shopping, please visit and fill out a form on the contact page.

Measure CP

TaskRabbit was Hacked, What Can Mystery Shoppers Do to Protect Themselves?

(HOUSTON, TX) — September 10, 2013 — Proactive customer experience management is paramount in today’s competitive landscape. Both B2C and B2B companies have experienced the shift toward customer focused selling, and those driven to succeed are employing customer experience management strategies to both gain and retain business.

Furthermore, the proliferation of social media has armed consumers with powerful tools for sharing their experiences – good and bad – with a worldwide audience within moments of an impression. Kimberly Nasief, president and founder of Measure CP, a mystery shopping and brand auditing firm, understands first-hand the need for social media to play a key role in customer experience management.

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP, led a panel discussion at a customer experience management forum in Houston

Kimberly Nasief, CEO and founder of Measure CP

Nasief moderated a panel discussion at Consero’s Customer Experience Forum guiding B2B and B2C industry leaders through a spirited discussion on the vital task of linking the voice of the customer (VOC) to operations.

“This forum is a unique opportunity for Fortune 100 to 500 executives to come together to share their strategies and learn from one another in this ever-changing world of new communication mediums,” Nasief said.

Attendees of the forum, such as those from HEB, Citi, Citrix Systems, Whataburger Restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings, Nokia, UMB Financial, Texas Capital Bank, 24-Hour Fitness, United Capital Financial Partners, Jaguar Land Rover, Levi Strauss, and eBay, are tasked daily with sifting through endless communication streams to determine what feedback is relevant.  The work starts there.  In actuality, it is what a company does with the feedback that has the ability to serve in a way that reinforces the brand promise.

“We use valuable programs from Measure CP to document the customer’s view throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to end-of-life, to show the customer experience in real time,” said Jack Roldan, Manager of Customer Experience and CRM for Cricket Communications.  “A dashboard is shared company-wide to bring everyone into the process, because when they are able to view things from the customer’s perspective, service improves.”

Customer experience management is only starting to emerge as a standard amongst more traditional marketing tools, but those businesses who have an invested effort in early engagement are already realizing huge rewards.

About Measure CP

Measure CP helps B2C and B2B companies track and improve the customer experience by combining traditional mystery shopping, online reputation management and brand auditing with the most current technology and social media tools to provide a 3-Dimensional view of a client’s brand and the customer service that defines it. To learn more, visit our website at