Services > Mystery Shops

Mystery Shops, Reimagined.

If you could be at every one of your store, restaurant, supermarket, or bank locations, you know things would be done right. But you can’t. And mistakes are costly.

Accountability is the key to improving customer service.

Mystery Shopping, also referred to as Secret Shopping, gives you objective insight into exactly how your business is presenting itself to your customers.  We make anonymous visits or calls to your locations and answer custom questionnaires to give you a comprehensive, unbiased view of your operations from the point of view of your customer.

We are the largest mystery shopping company in Oklahoma, with the largest staff of hand-picked, well-trained and supervised shoppers in the state. How can we pull this off? Because everyone of our shoppers are direct employees of ShapardResearch. Our competition uses independent contractors found on Craigslist and newspaper want-ads, or recruit customers of their client. Both methods have limitations with regard to recruitment, training and supervision.


  • A Mystery Shopper Force of well-trained and supervised shoppers in the state.
  • Years of success and experience in the mystery shopping industry.
  • Highest quality standards for shopper recruiting, training, data collection and reporting.
  • Expertise in designing and implementing large, complex and custom evaluation programs.
  • Applications including purchase/return scenarios, telephone mystery shopping and call center monitoring


  • Staff appearance, friendliness and engagement.
  • On-site branding and operational compliance.
  • Sales force effectiveness.
  • Wait and service time.
  • Overall quality of product or service.
  • Cleanliness and general appearance of location—both interior and exterior.
  • Product/service selection and availability.
  • Cleanliness, functionality and stock condition of restrooms.
  • Up-selling of additional products and services.
  • Customer thank you and invitation to return.
  • Overall on-site customer experience.
  • Just about anything that is important in your many locations.


  • Improved operational performance to maximize the customer experience, sales and profitability.
  • Better brand compliance and performance, differentiating your brand promise to customers.
  • Identified areas where new procedures and/or additional training can improve your bottom line.
  • An understanding in real time of top and bottom performing stores.
  • Desired employee behaviors reinforced by rewarding store managers and personnel who deliver an outstanding guest experience.
Mystery Shop Methods Comparison

There are three methods used by research firms to perform mystery shops:  Research Firm’s Employees, Independent Contractors, and Recruited Customers.  Each method has advantages and disadvantages, some with more disadvantages than others.

Recruitment, training and supervision are the three most important attributes to a quality mystery shopping program.  Below is a side-by-side comparison of these attributes, broken down by the three most commonly used mystery shopping methods.


Research Firm's Employees
Personally interviewed, evaluated, and selected for shopper work requirements.  Greatest control and flexibility in finding the right candidates of the three methods.

Independent Contractors
Identified thru want-ads or other internet methods; typically few candidates for selection and harder method to find quality candidates; no personal interview process since research firm is in another location.

Recruited Customers
Recruited from list of client’s customers; higher recruitment costs due to lower acceptance rate; customers who do accept are driven more by incentive alone with less motivation for quality work.


Research Firm's Employees
In-person training, with more in-depth ability than other two methods; only method with cognitive learning ability; evaluation by instructor possible prior to work assignment.

Independent Contractors
More reliance on former experience or on-the-job training; reading or other non-instructional forms of training are only training methods available due to remote recruitment. No ability for instructor evaluation prior to work assignment.

Recruited Customers
Typically the least training of the three methods, yet similar in delivery to Independent Contractor.  Shoppers pursue or retain little training since assignment is not their main employment.  Little ability to verify or re-enforce training since shopper is client’s customer.


Research Firm's Employees
Most supervision of the three methods; research firm can be held accountable for shopper’s work and performance since firm has termination leverage with employee.

Independent Contractors
Research firm has termination leverage, although less supervision due to nature of Independent Contractor relationship and distance between research firm’s location and shopper’s location.

Recruited Customers
Least supervision or termination leverage of three methods since shopper is one of client’s customers; little to no accountability of shopper’s work or performance, if any.

Let's talk!

Let me help tailor our qualitative research to your unique needs, answer your questions, and show you how cost effective our work can be!

Bill Shapard
+1 (405) 607-4664
Woohoo! We've received your submission and will respond to you as soon as we can.
Uh oh! Something went wrong while submitting this form. Try again, or call 405-607-4664.

Recent Mystery Shops Posts

ShapardResearch's mystery shopping identifies compliance vulnerabilities for financial institutions
A collection of don'ts gathered along the way
ShapardResearch goes green with CNG fleet
What's it take to be a mystery shopper? Apparently, very little.
Call center mystery shopping

Ready to get started?

Contact Us