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American Express Survey Reinforces Value of Mystery Shopping
The results of a survey released on May 3, 2011 by American Express clearly bode well for companies that conduct mystery shopping programs and act on them.  The American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer quantifies the business benefits of good service and the penalties for poor service, providing more evidence in support of the value of implementing mystery shopping programs. 
 
Good service is not just something Americans expect, it is something they are willing to pay for. American Express says seventy percent (70%) indicate they are willing to spend up to 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service, the survey showed.
 
According to the American Express study, Americans are placing more and more importance on the value of good customer service while, at the same time, they believe the quality of service is slipping. Moreover, says Jim Bush, Executive Vice President of American Express World Service, "Getting service right is more than just a nice to do, it's a must do. American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service, and they will also tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they will about good service. Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty."
 
A key finding from the American Express study reveals that 78% of customers have opted to cancel a transaction or did not complete an intended purchase because of a poor customer experience. Conversely, three in five Americans would try a new brand or company for a better services experience.
 
Members of the MSPA are enthusiastic about the release of the American Express study because it demonstrates the requirement that businesses pay close attention to the level of service they deliver to their customers if they are to be successful.  "We see the study as providing further support for the value of mystery shopping," says MSPA President Lynn Saladini of ath Power Consulting Corporation. "Mystery shopping enables businesses to measure the extent to which they are delivering on their brand promises through the customer experience and to identify and correct deficiencies.  Using the statistics from the study, you can calculate that two otherwise identical businesses would have very different revenue pictures if one had excellent customer service and one did not.  If the one lacking in excellent service was a $10 million dollar business, its identical competitor could have revenues of $10.93 million. That $930,000 revenue differential is a compelling argument for using mystery shopping to improve customer service."
 
About Mystery Shopping and the MSPA
Mystery shopping is a process in which pre-recruited and qualified consumers measure the extent to which a customer's interactions with a business mirror the experiences the business intends.  The purposes of this customer experience measurement include evaluating customer service and the degree to which a company's brand promises are being executed in the customer environment.
With more than 300 member companies worldwide, the MSPA has a diverse membership, including marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations, and other companies that specialize in providing mystery shopping services. Its goals are to establish professional standards and ethics for the industry, educate providers, clients and shoppers to improve quality of service, improve the image of the industry and promote the membership to other industry associations and prospective clients.
 
About the Subject Study
Details about the American Express study may be found at:
 
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Mystery Shopping Providers Association members reflect on how technology has impacted mystery shopping for the better.


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Better Business Bureau Names “Top Ten Scams” of 2012.


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