There are so many mystery shopping companies to choose from. As a new shopper, many of the companies can seem overwhelming at first.
I always advise to sign up with about 3-5 companies a week. Give that company time to digest in your system, keep an eye on emails and thoroughly read what they require before you accept a shop. Also, keep a log or binder of that company and all their information, including your log in and password, so it will be easier to sign in. This makes the transition so much faster.
Another important point: Make sure all these new companies do not end up in your junk box and add them to your contacts, so that lost email won’t happen. “Lost emails = Lost revenue.” Be smart and make a plan as you start out with your new mystery shopping companies.
- Alta 360 Research
Founded in 1974, by Stanley Hart, President and Owner, this thriving company has been around for 42 years. Based out of Maumee, Ohio, this company originally was called Ritter and Associates. Mr. Hart runs the helm of this successful business and puts great effort into this company, to make it successful and a shopper favorite. Mr. Hart is a long time member and Past President of the MSPA and very involved with the Market Research Association (MRA). The BBB rates Alta 360 with an A+ Rating. Alta 360 refers to it’s shoppers as “Independent Evaluators”
Business Model: “Honesty, Integrity and Intelligence.”
Major Factors in Alta 360’s Successful Business:
- Operational Excellence
- Customer Satisfaction
- Competitor Intelligence
- Reporting and Analytics
- Feedback and Education
Shops: Retail, C-Stores, Gas Stations, Restaurant/Quick Serve, Supermarket, Self- Storage, Sports Venues, Parking Shops, Commercial Food Service, After-Market Vehicle Shops, Tire Service and Replacement Shops, Public Sector Shops, Financial Services, Transportation Shops, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, (CSS)- (online, phone and mobile), IVR and IWR Customer Surveys, Customer Intercepts (exit interviews/surveys), Customer Contact Surveys, Follow-up Surveys, Customer Recovery Programs, Research Customer Contact, Competitor Shops, Competitor Pricing Audits, Announced Audits, Undercover Audits, Employee Feedback Surveys, POP Install-Verification Audits, Field Event Staffing/Promotions, Awards Programs/Employee and Customer Incentives, Brochure Coverage, Traffic Counts, Employee Loyalty Gift Card Programs, Marketing, Research Panelist Program RPP (rewards customers for participating), Phone Shops, Website Evaluations, Competitor Shops,-(phone and web) e Commerce Evaluations, Restaurant Fast Food/Drive Thru Shops, Live Survey Calls, Service Center Evaluation Shops, Competitor Price Checks, In-bound Service Inquiries, Facility Audits, Quality Assurance Food Audits, Age Restriction/ID Shops-(Alcohol & Tobacco), ADA Compliance Audits, and POP Audits.
To learn more:
- Reality Based Group (RBG)
Reality Based Group (RBG) has been in business since 1992 and is the world’s leader in video mystery shopping. Based out of Austin, Texas, RBG is one of the four founding members of the MSPA. RBG reaches out internationally as one of the historically influential players in mystery shopping. RBG started originally as GAMEFILM, the world’s largest video shopping company. The CEO is Josh Stern and he runs this successful company that is truly a shopper’s favorite! Being in business for over 24 years, this amazing company has 320,000 shoppers and serves over 2,000 clients. There have been over 2 Million shops completed by RBG’s great and dedicated mystery shoppers!
Mission: “To Deliver “Reality based” continuous improvement programs that create a world-class customer experience.”
Motto: “To positively impact the customer experience of one of many of the world’s leading brands, in a meaningful way.”
Shops: Famous Internet Order Store Platform Shops, Famous Donation Shops, World Wide Retailer Imports Store Shops, Famous Pastry Roll Shops, Insurance Shops, Flower & Fruit Shops/Edible Shops, Hair Cutting Shops, Bank Shops, Rental Store Shops, Famous Shoe Shops, Health Care Shops, Famous Natural Foods Shops, Country Store Shops, Women’s Accessories Shops, Famous Hotel Shops, Gym/Fitness Shops, Closet Designer Shops, Famous Steak Shops and Tire Shops/Service/Repair Shop, Banking and Competitor Shops.
To learn more:
- Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair Customer Metrics (SCM) has been in business since 1987 and is based out of San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Robert O. Sinclair, is the President and Founder of this successful company and has been for over 31 years. (Some of my research takes me back to 1976, not sure if it was the ground-breaking and later became Sinclair in 1987) but I wanted to give proper credit. Shoppers affectionately call SCM “Sinclair” SCM’s Shoppers are called “Customer Service Evaluators” (CSE) and SCM mentions that formerly all shoppers were once known as secret shoppers or service measurement shoppers.
Fast Fact: SCM reports that there are a reported 10.3 million independent contractors in the world, for all mystery shopping companies!
Shops: Training Modification Shops, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Shops, Alcohol/Tobacco Shops, Video Mystery Shops, Customer Satisfaction Programs, Employee Surveys, Phone Shops, Operational Compliance Shops, On Site Branding and Merchandise Shop, Market Campaigns, New Product Roll-Out Shops, Purchase and Return Shops, Grocery Shops, Quick Serve/Fast Casual Restaurant Shops, Retail Shops, Pricing Audits, Facility Audits, ADA Compliance Shops, Product Shops, C-Stores, Gas Stations Performance Tracking, New Product and Marketing and Banking Shops (Teller, Platform and Drive Thru).
To learn more:
- Cirrus Marketing Intelligence
Cirrus Marketing Intelligence began in 1993, over 23 years ago in Anaheim, California. Cirrus is a long time member of MSPA and is “one among an elite group of companies that consistently demonstrates the highest level of professional standards,” according to their web site. They have between 80,000-100,000 mystery shoppers and have completed over 1.7 million shops. The one highest complaint about Cirrus Marketing is the time it takes to be paid for a shop. According to their website, if a shopper does a shop in January, they can expect to be paid 60-90 days later, which takes them to April to be paid.
Fast Fact: Cirrus Marketing is a licensed and fully insured Private Investigative Agency.
Shops: Cable TV Provider Shops, Travel Shops, Financial Banking Shops, Apartment Shops/Multi Family/ Shops, Amusement Parks, Automotive Shops, C-Stores, Drug Stores, Gas Stations, Fitness Shops, Hotel/Spa Shops, Movie Theater Shops, Restaurant Shops/Casual Dining/Quick Serve/Drive Thru Shops, Retail Shops, Self-Storage Shops, Supermarkets, Time Shares, Customer Feedback Surveys, Brand Compliance Audits, Time Share Shops, Medical Supply Shops, IVR and ICR Reports, Vocazilla Format Phone Shops, Alcohol/Tobacco Compliance Shops, Sensitive Audits/Legal Complaints, Customer Intercepts, Exit Interviews, Crisis Management Team Assistance (expired food, tainted products, safety issues) Digital Image Audits (Brand Compliance) Incentive Mystery Shop Rewards, Customer/Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Web Surveys, Fair Housing Complaint Audits, Apartment Shops (recorded and non-recorded), Prospective Call Back Audits, Auto/Dealer/Service/ Competitive Price Shops, Famous Swedish Furniture Shops, Famous Automaker Shops, Call Center Targeted Shops, and Theme Parks.
To learn more:
- About Face Consulting Corporation
About Face Consulting Corporation is a long time member of the BBB and has an A+ Rating with the BBB. They are also a member of the MSPA and considered trusted and well respected in the industry. They have shops in all 50 states and Canada. They also have shops in Puerto Rico, South America, Australia, and Mexico.
Paige Hall is the CEO and Founder of About Face and has been with the company since 1995. Prior to About Face Consulting, Paige worked for a meat and provisionary company, in charge of their first mystery shopping program. She has 39 Industry Awards and 5 consecutive years with Mystery Shop Industry Leader Awards.
Fact: About Face claims to pay its shoppers 15% more than the industry standard.
Shops: Junk Removal Shops, Cable Television Shops, Brewery/Restaurant Shops, Fix It Shops, Career Shops, Education Shops, New Home Builders Shops, Big Box Retailer Shops, Self-Storage Shops, Medical/Spa Shops, Cell Phone Brand Shops, Vacuum Shops, Focus Groups, Field Research, Panelists, Demonstration Events, Call Polling, Text Analysis Shops, Net Promoter Surveys, Wallet Share, Competitive Intelligence Shops, Service Recovery, Loss Prevention/Compliance, Famous Automaker Shops, Large Home Improvement Shops, Fabrics/Accessories Shops, and Cosmetic Shops.
To learn more:
In closing, we all want to become successful and proud of our work. We want the schedulers and the companies to beg us to work with them again! We want to feel appreciated. Make your mark with your mystery shopping companies and they will remember you! They will call you, email you, pigeon/horse/telegraphs! They WANT good shoppers like you!