Mystery Shoppers

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is mystery shopping?

A. Businesses retain Service Performance Group to observe, gather and analyze objectively written and scored reports about their operations. To gather this information, we retain an independent contractor database of mystery shoppers (you) to visit our clients' locations, posing as potential customers.

Assignments differ from client to client; in many cases you will be given specific “scenarios” and guidelines to work from. This might mean that you are presenting yourself as a prospective new bank customer or perhaps someone who is previewing senior living arrangements for an elderly parent. Your job is to rate information such as customer service, sales ability, friendliness, cleanliness of the location, and more. This information is used by our clients to improve sales and customer retention through improved customer satisfaction.

Q.  How do I get assignments?

A. First, complete SPG’s “Shopper Profile.” When a shopper is needed in your area, we will e-mail the assignment to all the shoppers who fit the profile of our client's customers. (Be sure to set your email system to allow e-mails from us… and check your Junk and Spam folder!). We then review the profiles of shoppers interested and select the best shopper who responds to the e-mail and who can meet our deadlines.

In general, assignments are given out to experienced shoppers first, but as we require new faces all the time, ‘newer’ shoppers will eventually be chosen. In some assignments, we can never send the same shopper again, so we are always on the look-out for quality shoppers to join our database.

Q.  What happens after I receive an assignment?

A. Our SASSIE system will automatically e-mail you when you have been accepted for an assignment. The link you receive will bring you to your shopper log where you will see the assignment, the guidelines, report deadline, as well as the location address and any other materials you will need to complete this job. It is important that you confirm that you accept this assignment by clicking on the confirm link. If, after reading more about the assignment, you feel that you need to decline, you must do so within 24 hours by e-mailing the scheduler. Do not take an assignment and then drop it or fail to complete it. We will delete shoppers from our database who do this.

In most cases, you will be given several days or even a week or more to do your assignment. Unless specified, you can schedule this shop for a day and time that works for you. After you complete the shop, you will log back onto our Web site to input the information. Our SASSIE web-based system is intuitive and user friendly, however, we are always here to assist. You must upload your report within 12 hours of completing the assignment. Client deadlines are usually very tight; we must present the completed report to a client within 24 – 48 hours of you leaving the facility you just evaluated. If you “sit” on a report for several days we will not accept it. There are no extenuating circumstances regarding this deadline.

Q.  How and when do I get paid?

A. Shoppers can elect to be paid via PayPal (preferred) or by check. Most assignments will be paid between 35 and 45 days, some even faster.

Q.  How much do assignments pay?

A. There is no “average shop payment” as the difficulty, duration of the shop, and projected time required to report on the experience greatly vary. Retail, bank, fast food or grocery store assignment may pay between $15.00 and $25.00 to complete. Restaurant and entertainment shops may have a very small fee or no fee at all, but offer a generous reimbursement of $50.00 to $150.00 to complete the assignment. Shops requiring special skills (Brokerage and Financial Planning shops) and significant amounts of time (hotel shops) are generally reimbursed in the $50-$150.00 range.

Q.  Are Shoppers considered Employees?

A. No, shoppers are Independent Contractors and will sign an IC agreement. You will not receive a W2 year end statement. For any shopper who earns more than $599.00 in fee from Service Performance Group you will receive a Form 1099 during January of the new year.

Q.  How do you “rate” your shoppers?

A. Shoppers are evaluated on each and every assignment they do.  We put a premium on shoppers who can be relied on to FULLY read and follow the guidelines,, write a quality narrative, and allow our clients to “Be There” during the shopper experience. We also put a premium on shoppers who can always be counted on to complete their assignments without asking for more time.  Great shoppers are not necessarily nit-pickers, but rather those individuals who can make great observations not only on questions asked in the questionnaire, but also those questions not specifically asked.  They intuitively know what a business owner needs to know to keep customers happy and focus on these areas

Q.  How can I get more assignments?

A. You can greatly improve your odds of being selected for new assignments simply by doing a great job in all shops.  We also encourage those shoppers interested in doing so, to take the Silver and or Gold certification programs offered through the MSPA.  And, while we do not share information on our shoppers with other shopper companies, we do encourage mystery shoppers to work for other MSPA companies.  Shoppers who work for multiple companies will guarantee themselves more assignments, become more proficient in their skills, and be able to group assignments by locations and dates to maximize their earnings.

Q.  Do I need any specific equipment to start?

A. No, but you need to have a computer and internet access.  In addition a digital camera (or scanner) may be required for some assignments and help you to upload any images (i.e. receipts, business cards) to the shop form if necessary.  Some shoppers like using voice recorders to take notes with, and a large purse or back pack can be handy if you are allowed to take the shop form into the store with you.  If other specific equipment is necessary for a shop, this will be noted in the shop posting.