News and Alerts

Are you a great shopper? Want to improve or challenge your mystery shopping skills & performance?

Just announced: The second MSPA Gold Certification Workshop of 2011 will be held in Perrysburg, OH on Saturday June 11, 2011 from 9am–4pm. Come meet us at the workshop!

Location of Workshop:
Holiday Inn Express
19621 Fremont Pike
Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
Phone: 419-874-3101
Registration fee: $125

Guest room rate: $82 (MUST mention the MSPA Gold Certification Workshop when talking to front desk to get this rate)

Registrants must be MSPA Silver Certified Shoppers in order to register. To register for the Gold Workshop, visit

The goal of MSPA workshops is to offer education. Do you think you are a great shopper? You could be an even better shopper after attending this workshop. Becoming certified demonstrates you've invested the time and effort to study how to become an expert mystery shopper. Along with solidifying your level of commitment as an independent contractor, you will greatly increase your chances of receiving shop assignments before they are posted on the job board. Also, you will increase the likelihood of being assigned more work and higher paying, more desirable shops.  IntelliShop Schedulers always give a stronger preference to shoppers who are certified by MSPA!

Learn more about Certification at:

Unsung Heroes…Who Will Answer the Call

Sometimes I think JFK’s famous quote should have gone like this; “Ask not what the store can do for you, but what you can do for the store.” I know what you’re thinking. “This guy is crazy.” And you are probably right, but stores and restaurants are in competition with each other every day for your hard earned dollar. They spend tons of money on advertising, promotions, giveaways, and more in an effort to get you in the door and that is where the real work begins. They know that if you do not have a good experience, you will not only take your business elsewhere, but you will tell everyone you know and encourage them to go elsewhere.

So back to my earlier question, what have you done for them lately? Businesses are not perfect and need help to stay on track. This is where mystery shopping comes in. As a mystery shopper, you are on the front lines of the customer service industry. The information you provide is vital in helping stores improve and helping your fellow consumer get more for his/her dollar.

Whether you are new to mystery shopping or have been doing it for awhile, know that what you do is important. We need you!  You are the unsung heroes of customer service! Encourage your friends and family to sign up to be mystery shoppers. The more mystery shoppers, the better customer service will be in all your favorite places.

Communication is Key

As a mystery shopper, there are going to be times when you plan on doing your shop, you really do, and then something goes wrong. You get behind at work, you are stopped in a traffic jam, or you just absolutely forgot to complete the shop you were assigned to. Accidents happen! Now the question is: What are you going to do next in this situation?

The best choice is to contact your Scheduler as soon as you realize you didn’t complete the shop. If your Scheduler calls or emails you, respond as quickly as possible. We understand that situations come up every once and awhile and there are times when you may need a little bit more time.  Extensions are not always granted and definitely not encouraged; however, the sooner we know you cannot do the shop, the quicker we can find a replacement shopper.  Being forthright is always better than ignoring the past due emails, the missed phone calls and the guilty feeling in your stomach.

We want you to get paid for the work you do and we also want to please our Clients with turning our reports in on time. Communication is key and working together will always benefit us BOTH in the long run.

Pop Goes Perfection: Writing A Perfect Mystery Shop Report

Are you tired of receiving scores of 7, 8 or 9 on your mystery shopping reports? Are you ready to get a perfect 10? Here are a few helpful hints as you chase perfection.

The longer a proofreader spends editing your report, the lower your grade will be. Follow these four simple pointers, and you should see your report grades rise!

Spelling: Use our Spell Check feature. This is in every mystery shopping report. When you click the Spell Check, a new window will pop up and show you any spelling errors. If you submit a report without using Spell Check, our proofreaders will have to correct any spelling errors. The longer a proofreader spends editing your report, the lower your grade will be.  Another possibility is to type your answers in a word processing program with a built-in spelling/grammar checker, and copying your responses into your report.

Grammar Errors: I suggest reading your report out loud before submitting it. This will help you find errors you didn't realize were there. Keep in mind, just because you say something in everyday speech, does not mean it is grammatically correct. There are countless websites with grammar guidelines as well as tools within your word processing software.

Overly Opinionated Comments: Your mystery shopping reports should be filled with facts; not opinions.  We want an objective perspective.  If you are not specifically asked for your opinion, only enter the facts.

Support your answers: You will likely answer multiple choice and yes/no questions and then be asked for supporting comments. Be sure to both detail your experience and provide details as to why you answered the way you did.

Follow the four simple pointers above and you are well on your way to earning tens on your reports, which increases your shopper rating, which can translate to more shopping assignments!

How To E-mail A Scheduler

There are dozens of reasons you may need to contact a Scheduler for a mystery shopping company like IntelliShop.  But as a Scheduler is receiving hundreds of e-mails per day, your best course of action to ensure a timely and adequate response is to follow a few simple rules.

As technology evolves, and we have the ability to communicate almost instantaneously from all corners of the planet, it becomes easier to forget about the basics of professional business communication.

As a mystery shopper, you are an independent contractor and may be competing against hundreds of other people for the same mystery shopping assignment. Thusly, the way in which you present (or “market”) yourself could not be more important. The best way to accomplish this is through proper business e-mail etiquette and formatting. Here are few helpful tips to make emails to your Scheduler better:

1.    Include the name of the project you are talking about in the subject line.

2.    Address your Scheduler using a Salutation.

3.    Make sure the location (City, State) is clearly stated in your email.

4.    Do not write a novel. Short and sweet is the best way to get your point across.

5.    ALWAYS use proper grammar and spelling.

6.    Use a Complimentary Closing.

7.    Use an email signature to include at minimum your name and phone number.