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Can You Tell Who is Shopped? June 29, 2010

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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After being in this business for the better part of 12 years, I’ve found, like many of you, that you can’t help but pay attention to customer service no matter where you are. Two of my children, who are 12 and 10, also seem to be a product of mystery shopping.

Sometimes you can just walk into a store and know they’re shopped; other times the service you receive is so sub-par that you hope they are shopped soon!

I remember a time last year when I was able to pinpoint when a local business started a mystery shopping program. This was not a client we worked with, but soon after my experience I noticed new mystery shopping postings for this business. It is a business I frequent often, and have always received satisfactory service. About a year ago, though, things changed. Employees were greeting customers as they entered, and I couldn’t stand within 20 feet of an employee without them offering assistance. While this was great (and a bit overboard in the beginning), my first thought was that they just started a mystery shopping program so all of the employees were on their toes. I often wondered if they thought I was the shopper at times, because they were over the top friendly and accommodating.

My girls will sometimes tell me “Mom, if this was a shop, you’d have to report that the employee didn’t say ‘thank you’ and the floor was dirty.” We haven’t done shops in some time, but I guess it stuck with them!

I’ve even found myself counting the number of people in line in front of me, timing the wait in line, and other typical mystery shopping tasks, even though I haven’t been a shopper for many years now!

I’m sure that you feel the same way at times – thinking that a business is shopped based on employee behavior, or wish they were shopped.  This industry definitely makes you more aware of service levels when you’re shopping in real life!

Anyone else feel the same? Share your stories and experiences with the rest of us – we always like to hear them!

Until next time…happy shopping!

Have You Heard About the IMSC? June 27, 2010

Posted by Ann Michaels & Associates in Uncategorized.
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No? Well, if you haven’t, the Independent Mystery Shoppers’ Coalition (IMSC) will be hosting their second annual Mystery Shopper Conference  in August! If you are an avid shopper, or a newer shopper wanting to learn more about the industry, you may want to check out the event and attend if you can!

The IMSC launched last year as an independent group of shoppers who wanted to create a mystery shoppers educational conference. Last year’s event was a great success, with panelists and speakers presenting relevant information to the industry.

This year’s event will be held from August 15th to August 17th in Las Vegas. The IMSC has negotiated great hotel rates and have secured a wide range of speakers and presenters. Some of the topics that will be discussed are:

  • Video mystery shopping
  • New shopper information
  • Merchandising
  • Networking and marketing yourself in the industry
  • A schedulers’ roundtable

Several mystery shopping companies will be present, as will Ray Sola, who manages the Volition message board.

You can view all of the details on the IMSC’s website, and also read the discussion about this event on the Volition forum.

Until next time..happy shopping!

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