Written By Ceridwyn

The Brandt Group

Many times mystery shoppers wonder if their efforts truly have any direct results on the business operations of a client. With The Brandt Group, they do. The company motto “Inspect What You Expect” neatly sums up the mission of this MSC. On-site client evaluations are taken very seriously, and a higher level of professionalism is demanded of all involved in the process – from the president of this company to the shopper.

The business is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, and has been in existence since March of 1993. The majority of available assignments are located in the state it hails from, along with the nearby states of Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. The Brandt Group openly publicizes its list of clients on its website, and they come from a wide variety of industries including: banking, fast food, casual dining, grocery, hotel, and automotive.

Monetary payments are made via PayPal twice a month. Form of payment varies depending upon the client. The BBB has recorded no complaints about this company, and its rating is A+.

Signing up with The Brandt Group is straightforward. Visit their website at www.thebrandtgroup.com. Click on the link “Become A Mystery Shopper”. The application is very brief. An email notification will be sent out to confirm registration and approval. Their site is run on the ClientSmart software system.

Assignments are requested by shoppers from a job board and then assigned by a scheduler. The turnaround for this process is usually quick, making it convenient for route shoppers to plan out their itineraries. The other plus for all shoppers is that many assignments have a multi-day window time span in which to complete them, providing for more flexibility in scheduling.

Overall feedback posted on www.mysteryshopforum.com is positive, if limited. Members have stated that this is one of the better companies to work for in that the shopper is made to feel valued. Editorial feedback is positive, pleasant, and constructive. However, the reporting requirements are described as being tedious, involved, and overly detailed. Comments concerning timely pay are favorable. As for the pay itself, shoppers have stated that they feel that it is fair and even generous.

Personal Experience: So far I have completed almost 200 assignments for The Brandt Group, mostly fast food and grocery with an occasional casual or upscale dining project. I can verify that all the reports require heavy and mind-numbing narrative. Out of all of the MSCs I work with, I dread the reports for this company most of all.

On the upside, the editor/scheduler that I have been assigned to is encouraging and easy to work with. Anytime I have had a situation arise that requires rescheduling or an extension, she has not hesitated to do so graciously. Being able to coordinate with her one-on-one to develop routes has been a major benefit to me, as she has been willing to rearrange assignment due dates to accommodate my schedule frequently. Her editorial feedback is useful and relevant. This is one of the few MSCs that allows shoppers to review the finalized report after edits have been completed.

It is also worth noting that the lengthy reporting time is well spent. Repeat visits to clients have demonstrated that immediate and effective action has been taken to effect positive changes.

Email communication with this MSC is prompt, reliable, and direct. The president himself will touch base with shoppers to facilitate clarification on feedback provided in reports if the client has questions or concerns.

Payments are made in a consistent and timely manner. Bonuses are not part of the culture of this MSC.

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