David Agius, of The Sentry Marketing Group, answered some questions for us about mystery shopping for them. The Sentry Marketing Group provides mystery shopping and market research services to a wide range of industries. The company is a member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. Here is what David had to say:
What types of shops does your company do? What types of reports are used?
We have an array of different shops that we offer including automotive, massage, hotel, retail and restaurant. We use PROPHET software and the majority of our reports are narrative driven.
Does your company recognize MSPA certification? What advantage does a Silver shopper have over non-certified? Gold over Silver? Do you recognize any other certifications?
We recognize both Gold and Silver. As it relates to auto accepting assignments we give priority to Silver and Gold shoppers over non-certified shoppers.
What is the best way for a new shopper to get in the door and get a first assignment?
Communication with the scheduler or other members of the SMG team should be done in a professional manner. Shoppers should be patient if they do not get your desired assignment right away.
How can shoppers qualify for your best shop assignments?
We offer our best assignments to shoppers that have a strong history of on time completion, reliability, quality work and professionalism.
How long after a shop are your shoppers typically paid? Do you use/require PayPal?
We pay by check. Payments are processed 30 to 60 days after acceptance of an assignment.
What is your biggest problem/pet peeve with shoppers?
Shoppers who communicate in an unprofessional manner. Shoppers who jump to conclusions without asking for questions or requesting clarification.
What are the biggest challenges facing mystery shopping companies today?
Hyper-competiveness amongst mystery shoppers companies which has depressed shopper fees. Another challenge is finding and retaining reliable shoppers that we can build a long-term relationship with.
What do you see as the future direction of mystery shopping?
Wireless Internet and tablet computing are two of the biggest growth potential in technology.
What do you want shoppers to know–what will make them more valuable to your company?
We can’t grow without the contribution of our shoppers. Our goal is to have a long-term relationship with our shopper that is built on a foundation of mutual respect and professionalism. One of our ongoing goals is to be known within the shopping community as a shopper-friendly company that is easy to work with.
Thank you, David, for sharing this information with us. If you would like to be a mystery shopper for Sentry Marketing, go to http://www.sentrymarketing.com/page/prospective_evaluators.