Let’s say you’re a business looking to get some quantitative and qualitative feedback about your customers’ experiences. You’re looking for feedback to find out if your products, pricing, and placement are appealing to customers. And how are your frontline employees doing? What about your competitors’ employees? You want to keep all the customers you can, especially in this day and age. A lot of businesses are not experiencing much growth, so many are simply trying to build market share and convert browsers to buyers. But in order to accomplish this, you need to get some research under your belt. Mystery shopping is a great tool to obtain that data.
However, in your search for the right mystery shopping company for your business, you might find yourself with a slew of options in front of you. All of these companies will claim to be the source for mystery shopping research. If this is your first go-round with mystery shopping, you might find this a little overwhelming. How do you decide what is legit, and what might be a scam? How do you know that the mystery shopping company has your best interests at heart? Luckily, there is one association that helps you cut through some of the riff raff and stands behind a network of tried and true mystery shopping services. It’s the Mystery Shoppers Providers Association (MSPA).
According to their website, the MSPA is “the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources.” It estimates that about 1.5 million mystery shoppers operate in the US. An overwhelming percentage of those shoppers work with one or more of the 250+ MSPA member companies worldwide. The MSPA has a diverse membership, including marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations, and companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Member companies of the MSPA work with clients to establish procedures to measure and improve levels of service.
The MSPA aims to educate everyone who plays a part in the mystery shopping experience – from providers, to clients, to shoppers. Their belief is that this training will greatly improve the quality of service all around. The goal of the MSPA is to establish professional standards and ethics for mystery shopping, as well as boost the image of mystery shopping as an industry. They continue to grow by promoting the membership to other industry associations and prospective clients.