What is a Mystery Shopper?

Customer Service Evaluators (CSE), a.k.a. Mystery Shoppers, are individuals who work as independent contractors on an as-needed basis to evaluate various local businesses in their area on customer service issues. Posing as regular customers, Mystery Shoppers make unannounced visits to department stores, specialty shops, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, hotels, banks, etc. and, following specific criteria, assess service and operations of that business. The data that is collected by Mystery Shoppers is used to brief, promote, and help management make decisions about employees and operations. Mystery Shopping is not a new trend, it has been around for years. Until recently mystery shopping consisted mostly of integrity shopping that was done by private investigators as a means of catching dishonest employees. Today, Mystery Shopping is used primarily by businesses to measure their customer service. Instead of using private detectives, the shopping is done by actual shoppers.