Company Overview: “Are you committed to meeting deadlines and providing quality reports with detailed narratives?” CSEKristina posted this on the forum and might have also asked if you like to golf.
Customer Service Experts (CSE) focuses on airports, restaurants, financial services, and recreation locales such as golf courses. It was founded in 1994 and is based in Annapolis Maryland. This company has MSPA membership. It uses the Sassie platform.
New shoppers with a writing sample can APPLY here.
Shoppers with MSPA certification or IC Pro will stand out from others in their shopper pool. Payment is made within 60 days by either PayPal or check.
Personal Experience: I have completed three shops for this company. Pay is good for the work involved. Narratives are indeed longer and more detailed than the norm and must include comments on all the questions, not just the ‘no’ answers. Materials that include sample reports are helpful and geared towards helping the shopper deliver reports to their requirements. I attended a phone TRAINING for a lengthy mall shop that was helpful. Shops often include reimbursement for parking or other special expenses. In my experience reports are due in 24 hours. Payments have been in about three weeks, which is faster than promised. Grading was fair with positive and helpful feedback. If I took up golfing again I would certainly do more shops with this company.
What others have to say: Many seasoned shoppers like this company. They report the narratives are more demanding than the industry norm and the pay is good. Schedulers are responsive and flexible. Grading is stricter than other companies that use the Sassie system. There are many airport shops discussed that allow 48 hours to submit reports. Posts about payment are mostly positive. However, there are a few reporting bad experiences that include requests for clarification, SLOW responses to applications, and excessive emails. A recent post complained about late payment for shops in June 2014 that did not arrive on July 21st. That thread showed conflicting information about the company’s payment policy and what part of the month different shoppers received payment in the past. However, there are many more positive posts from experienced shoppers than negative posts. The BBB does not accredit this company but rates it A+.
One shopper on the forum wrote, in response to a question about cancelling an assignment:
“CSE is a wonderful MSC with great schedulers! I would write to your scheduler and give her (or him) a heads up and ask if you should just go ahead and cancel now so they can see if they can find someone else, or if they want you to wait until tomorrow to see if the forecast changes.”
Overall: Customer Service Experts is a company for more experienced shoppers that can handle detailed instructions and narrative intensive reports. They pay well for the effort. Expect grading that is fair, but more strict than the norm because of the more detailed requirements. I am willing to dismiss the recent thread claiming late payment because the thread itself showed payments were clearly not later than the stated payment date on the website and the company has a long history of paying on time. In addition, if you are a golfer, FREQUENT FLIER, or have airport access, you should have this company on your list.