We have used Spot Check Services off and on for ten years now. We believe their services are essential to any business. The information gleamed from a secret shopper provides the best and most accurate detailed information on our business at its most basic and important level, the perspective of our customers. We have been very happy with their quick, efficient and professional service. We highly recommend Spot Check Services.

Thank You,

Lesley Lowry
Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers

Fit for Business

Is Your Company “FIT” for Business?

During the last two decades, we have been bombarded by the FITNESS CRAZE…. diets, vitamins, exercise, meditation, videos and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But when it comes to your business, is it as FIT as it should be?

Health officials, gurus, and even the government have been pushing for the public to change their ways and incorporate a healthy lifestyle into daily life. But what can you do to determine how healthy your company truly is, and more importantly, what can you do to make YOUR business FIT?

Simply sitting idly back and waiting for the economy to swing in your favour is one way of addressing a waning bottom line, and in certain situations, this might be a viable option. But leaving your business solely in the hands of the economy is very risky in the best of times as tastes change, competitors emerge, and improvements in services and products are almost a given.

Other businesses will cut back on staff in the hopes of “leaning down” on the expenses. While this might work in the “now”, it’s only a short-term solution to a much larger issue which will require more investigation and likely more effort on your part.

The answer…. BE PROACTIVE. Whether your company is in Retail, Hospitality, Entertainment, or Food & Beverage, there is one source of information that you might not be capitalizing on… your CUSTOMERS. They will make or break you business in record time if you are not providing the products or services they are searching for.

When looking for a personal trainer, dietician, or even a new fitness complex, many people explore the choices until they find the best FIT for achieving their goals. Proper counselling from a Certified Personal Trainer or Dietician will let you know what vitamins you need daily, which exercises are needed and how much to do, and will instruct you on which foods to eat to keep your body healthy.

The same approach should be taken when considering the idea of forming a partnership between your company and an outside source. Questions you should ask: What services do they bring to the table? Do they have a proven track record for providing successful solutions? Is my invested dollar providing the bottom-line return I am striving for? Will this new partnership take my company to the level of FIT that I want and need?

Whether you’re working with a personal trainer or a business consulting firm, the relationship needs to be flexible on both parts. This flexibility will allow you to explore new ideas and new approaches while addressing those “problem” areas in your business. Additionally you must trust that your “personal company trainer” will deliver the results your company is striving to achieve. This new relationship will be the FIT your company needs.

You can get an objective view of your business by utilizing the services provided by a company who offers an established Mystery Shopping program which can identify where you’re falling short. You will then have the key information needed to implement any changes needed to give your company the nutritional boost it needs to get back on track.

An established Mystery Shopping program will use seasoned, objective mystery shoppers to evaluate your business on a multitude of variables. Staff greeting, product knowledge, location cleanliness, and product quality are only a sample of criteria that can be observed and analyzed. The shoppers should be supplied with a detailed questionnaire that will reveal what areas need your attention, whether in service, product quality and selection, or a combination or factors. Mystery shops can be conducted onsite via direct interaction with your employees, online through your website, or through phone shops. Competitor shops can also be done showing how you stack up with your competition.

With a properly constructed questionnaire, the collected data should be secure, and easily accessed through a user-friendly database. The results can then be consolidated and analyzed in various formats (charts, graphs, cross-referencing) enabling you to determine how to make your company FIT for BUSINESS!


Spot Check Services is dedicated to providing quality business tools to enhance your business’ customer service needs; thereby improving client relations and ultimately PROFITS!!


Dave Guy—President




Window of Opportunity

Is your WINDOW of OPPORTUNITY open for business?

By C. McDaniel

As a new business or one that’s been operating for a number of years, your open window of opportunity is always subject to closing if you don’t keep a watchful eye on what’s happening inside AND out.

Some companies will only have one or two windows which they need to monitor, while others can have several. In all cases, the challenge for any business is to successfully determine and implement those strategies that will let them realize the maximum profit for their efforts while keeping those windows open.  These windows can range from the products they sell to the promotions they run to the customer service they provide.

Are you looking to improve your current management practices or customer service procedures, or have spotted a potential source of new income? How can YOU get to that window of opportunity AND keep it open?  The answer: Create a solid partnership with an established Mystery Shopping company to access one of the best resources you have; YOUR CUSTOMERS.  They can provide you with the best source of information which you can use to modify your existing policies and procedures, or create new ones.

Finding the right Mystery Shopping company that can provide you the tools you need may take some trial and error to find the right “fit”, but the benefits are well-worth the effort. Critical tools include:

  • Data Explorer
  • Mystery Shoppers
  • Quality Control
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Reporting Overview


Implemented correctly and orchestrated using a regular schedule, these tools will no doubt lead to bottom-line success and can be easily modified to accommodate changing market variables as they occur.

With a properly constructed Data Explorer using the latest Java technology, you can navigate your collected data using city, province, country, client, and locations (name, code, district, and class), and can filter the data using scores, date ranges, and periods & schedules in real-time. The Data Explorer will also allow you access to your results from any computer via a protected username and password.

A successful Mystery Shopping program suited to fit your needs will allow you to collect data from a variety of categories including customer service, product quality & availability, as well as management practices and procedures.

Once collected, your data should be groomed for content in a format that is acceptable to you. As a mediator, Quality Control will ensure that all information is in a clear and concise format before it reaches you and your management team.

Whether your business is in Retail, Hospitality, Restaurant or Entertainment, your questionnaire is KEY in allowing you to acquire the critical information you are looking for. In order to collect this information, your Questionnaire Design should be based on your specific needs, which can include a myriad of variables as you see fit. The questionnaire designer should work with you to analyze and determine how to best extrapolate the required information in a coherent format.

Once your collected data has been tallied, the Reporting Overview tool should allow you to analyze your information in a variety of ways including: Drill-Down Reports, Graphs, and Cross Variables. Having these reports available in Email, PDF, and Excel formats will allow you to share your findings from any computer with internet access.

Finding the right partnership (and hence the right mix) will allow you to choreograph and execute these tools so that your window of opportunity will remain open for the long haul through all types of economic weather.

Spot Check Services is dedicated to providing quality business tools to enhance your business’ customer service needs; thereby improving client relations and ultimately PROFITS!!


Dave Guy—President






With an economy that is always in a state of flux, most businesses can’t rely on the old-school method of depending solely on the quality of their respective product to remain profitable.  Are you successfully focusing your efforts on that segment of consumers who should be purchasing your product or service? Whether your business is in retail, travel, entertainment, hospitality, recreation, or any other industry, you need to know WHO your customer is…Who is your TARGET MARKET?

Many new and existing businesses have a grand vision about where they want to be as outlined in their strategic plans, yet may not be totally aware of how to achieve those goals. Whatever your industry, utilizing a credible Mystery Shopping company can greatly increase the odds of identifying WHO your target market is. Simply assuming that ‘everyone’ will buy your product or service could lead to poor decision making, wrong pricing, inaccurate marketing strategies, or worse, business failure.

By definition, a Target Market is that select group of consumers who will purchase the bulk of your productivity. The parameters of a target market include areas such as age, income, geographic locations, and lifestyle habits (sports, fashion, food, etc), as well as a host of other variables.

Those businesses that have correctly identified WHO their customers are know where to invest their dollars to capture the highest return on that investment. By establishing a strong relationship with a credible Mystery Shopping company, you will be better able to determine how to attract those CONSUMER DOLLARS and keep your customers coming back for more!

Research has determined that consumers generally purchase for three reasons:

  1. To satisfy basic needs
  2. To solve problems
  3. To make themselves feel good

Are you a new business, an existing business that needs to readapt to the evolving market demand, or do you want to introduce a new product or service into your current market?   Using a properly implemented mystery shopping program will enable you to determine WHO is buying your products, who WANTS to buy your products, and WHY they are buying your products.

Having solid communication with your chosen mystery shopping company will allow you to analyze, create and choreograph a successful program that can then be tailored to fit your changing needs over the long term.  The data that can be collected from a successful program will allow you to analyze those criteria that are keys to your business success. From there, you can then make sound decisions on where you are falling short; whether it lies in pricing, service, location or any other factors that are integral to your product or service.

Where are the areas that you could be falling short? Pricing? Customer service? Hours of operation? Product quality? Wrong demographic?

Your mystery shopping program could be as simple as an online survey, or a full-blown program.  The frequency of your mystery shopping schedule will also allow you to determine other less obvious variables including seasonal spending habits and time-sensitive needs. Depending on the nature of your business, it may take as little as two periods of mystery shopping, or it might take longer.  Again, effective communication is key in determining the program type and frequency that will yield you the best results.

Once you have the data, you can then determine where to spend your marketing dollars, enabling you to hit your target right on the BULLS EYE with complete accuracy.

Do Customers Want to Come Back

As the economy struggles to keeps its head above the water, businesses across the board are now faced with the daunting task of trying to keep their bottom lines alive.

As a result, many companies are looking at ways of cutting costs in the hopes of surviving.  However, is this the BEST approach if your business is customer-service based?  Cutting costs may be a band-aid solution for the short term, but when the economy begins its shift back to the more lucrative end of the continuum, are you in the best possible position to attract those new and returning dollars?

In particular, customer service businesses (retail, food, travel, general public service) are taking a direct hit as their customers are even more selective with regards to how they are spending their shrinking disposable income.  They are looking for the best value for their hard-earned dollar and will go to great lengths to ensure they are getting what they want.

How can you make YOUR customers make your business NUMBER ONE in their minds?  How can you become aware of your customers’ needs and concerns while delivering the products and services they are searching for?  How can you further improve your current policies while searching for new methods and opportunities? The answer: MYSTERY SHOPPING.

While the concept of mystery shopping is not new, applying a carefully thought-out program will allow you to gather information about how you are perceived by your customers not only with regards to your specific business, but also in the big picture.

The information you gather will allow you to closely monitor and analyze where you are falling short, allowing you to make any adjustments and/or research other possible alternatives to increase your productivity, particularly from the customer service point of view.

Choosing the right Mystery Shopping company is crucial in order to reap the benefits of YOUR hard-earned invested business dollar.  And like any expense, you want to justify an expenditure that you might not see as a necessity when the bottom line is at risk.  Is utilizing a mystery shopping company a justifiable expense? Yes, provided you are receiving the information you need to put your company at the top of the heap, ahead of your competition.

When considering which mystery shopping company to partner with, investigate what they have to offer.  Making your customers WANT to come back is the single largest challenge of any service-based organization, and is the purpose of a mystery shopping company. Which one is a good fit for you? Four key areas that will net the best results for your investment include: Program Customization, Client Support, Tools, and Flexibility.

The mystery shopping company you go with should provide you with a range of solutions to meet all of your customer service needs, as well as the support and tools needed for you to make the required changes to keep your customers coming back.  Working with a mystery shopping company is a partnership that should remain flexible.  This flexibility will allow for the customization of a program individually designed for YOUR special needs.

As your needs are met, and your requirements change, this flexibility should remain a strong incentive and will provide you with invaluable information.  You can then be flexible with the service your customers are looking for.

End result: A healthy bottom line.


Spot Check Services is dedicated to providing quality business tools to enhance your business’ customer service needs; thereby, improving client relations and ultimately PROFITS!!

Dave Guy—President