Help CSE clients measure their service experience!
Apply to Shop!
Our application process is 3 easy steps! As part of the process, you'll be required to write a sample narrative of a recent service experience you've had. Your sample narrative should "tell the story" of the service experience you had while shopping. In order to apply to be a mystery shopper with CSE, we ask that you agree to an Independent Contract Agreement (ICA). This verifies that you agree with this type of flexible and beneficial working relationship as an Independent Contractor.
- Step #1: APPLY HERE! Complete your writing sample and submit.
CSE mystery shoppers are selected based on quality, detailed narratives that include:
- Descriptions of your actions
- Employee interactions
- Quotes from your conversation
- Objective comments
- Positive feedback on areas of success
- Constructive feedback on areas for improvement
- Proper grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Step #2: After submitting your writing sample, you'll be taken to our eView® site where you must read and accept the ICA.
- Step #3: Complete your New Shopper Profile in eView®.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us
. We look forward to working with you!
ABOUT OUR MYSTERY SHOPPERS
What does it take to be a CSE mystery shopper?
CSE selects only the highest quality mystery shoppers for our assignments. We take pride in our stringent screening, recruiting and scheduling process, to ensure professional and objective feedback for the best possible results. To be a successful CSE mystery shopper, you must be professional, prepared, reliable, objective, detail-oriented and responsive.
CSE mystery shoppers are experts at their work. As a CSE mystery shopper, you will be expected to maintain anonymity, a positive attitude, respectable behavior and a responsible approach to your work. Take pride in your assignment; each is a vital part of a larger service development process.
There is a lot to know and prepare for when conducting a shopping assignment. Each shop assignment has specifics that our clients demand and we have promised to deliver. So, it is extremely important to follow the guidelines to a "T". If we have asked for it, we need it!
CSE coordinators have deadlines to meet in order to fulfill client requests. We have to deliver shop results on time and on budget. As a mystery shopper for CSE, we trust that you will also complete your assignment on time. Reliable shoppers get the most work.
It is important that you receive as much information about your assignment as possible so you can do your best work. However, there are some things that we don't tell you so that you can keep your objectivity. We have also designed our shop forms to be as objective as possible—yet still allow areas of opportunity and success to be identified.
Since we are a developmental company, detailed mystery shops are key to pin-point areas of opportunity and recognition for our clients. This is why CSE asks for a detailed narrative to be submitted on each mystery shop, recounting the information from the objective questions in a written account of the experience.
CSE works at a fast pace to ensure timely results for our clients. That means we also require our shoppers to be responsive to our timelines and potential requests for further information. It goes both ways—we promise to be responsive to your questions and payment, too!
MYSTERY SHOPPING FAQ'S
How do I become a mystery shopper for CSE?
At CSE, we have established strong working relationships with our mystery shoppers and will assign shops based on an applicant's prior experience, reliability, history and quality. New shoppers are encouraged to apply and, once accepted, can establish a track record of quality and reliability. We contract shoppers who follow evaluation guidelines, submit well-written detailed narratives and have a professional and positive attitude. We know that shoppers can't always take every job we offer them and appreciate shoppers who don't "overbook" their schedules.
Is there a fee to work for CSE?
There is never a fee for working with CSE. We pay you to work for us. We recommend that you avoid working with any companies who may require you to pay them. Be sure to check the Mystery Shopping Providers Association web site at MysteryShop.org for a listing of legitimate mystery shopping companies and how to avoid dangerous scams and fraud.
How much does an "average" mystery shop pay?
Payment varies depending on the parameters of each project. Shopper payment is determined based on time required to conduct the shop, travel considerations, the length of the form and time required to submit the form. Every project varies in terms of time commitment, frequency and scope of work.
Can anyone accompany me on a mystery shop?
As long as they won't interfere with your ability to observe and evaluate your experience, it is fine to bring along children or spouses. In some cases, it may help to make your role more realistic. Occasionally we may receive client requests that would require you to evaluate alone.
Can I work for CSE while working for other
mystery shopping companies?
Mystery Shoppers may work for more than one Mystery Shopping company at a time. We do require that, while you are on an assignment for CSE, you be focused only on that assignment. This ensures the most accurate, detailed results and information for our clients.
Would I be considered an employee of CSE?
Our mystery shoppers are independent contractors—not employees—and are required to complete an Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) during the application process. We encourage applicants to read the document carefully, and keep a copy for their records.
Preparing for Your Assignments
What if I have never mystery shopped before?
When you are accepted for an assignment, we provide you with shopper guidelines including all of the information you need to complete a quality assignment. Our coordinators are available via phone and email (Monday – Friday, 9AM to 5PM EST) to answer any of your questions and to coach you through the process. We also recommend that you visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website, to learn more about the mystery shopping industry and your role in it. You will find certification programs and other resources to help you be a successful mystery shopper!
How should I prepare to complete my mystery shop?
CSE takes a comprehensive approach to preparing our shoppers for conducting assignments. Part of that preparation includes detailed shopper guidelines that carefully explain every aspect of the assignment. The most important thing you can do is read and fully understand the guidelines. In addition to the guidelines, CSE recommends reviewing the mystery shopping form prior to conducting the assignment to ensure you know all the questions you will have to answer and the detail you will need to provide in your narrative.
If you have any questions, be sure to contact your CSE Coordinator prior to conducting the evaluation and take their number with you in case you run into difficulties while conducting the evaluation.
How long does the "average" mystery shop take?
The length of time it takes to complete a mystery shop varies depending on the parameters of the assignment as well as the skill of the mystery shopper. It is impossible to give an "average" evaluation time, as each client request is unique.
Do I need to have Internet access?
Yes, all mystery shopping forms and guidelines are posted on our webbased system, eView®, so internet access is mandatory. Our automation via the internet provides fast turnaround for our clients and hassle-free shopper accessibility.
Want to learn more about Mystery Shopping?
MysteryShop.org. The MSPA is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 150 member companies worldwide, our diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mystery-shopping services.
Interested in talking to other shoppers or
finding more shops?
The Bulletin Boards on these sites are the place for the thousands of mystery shoppers to get together and meet regularly. Mystery Shopping companies post shops on this site daily as well. A GREAT resource for any Mystery Shopper!
Tired of waiting for a check in the mail?
Sign up for PayPal! The fast, easy, safe way to pay. PayPal is the global leader in online payments. Learn about PayPal and set up an account!
Can't read that PDF attachment?
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for FREE! Many of our Shop Guidelines and Reward Vouchers are PDFʼs and require you to have this software to open them.
Don't know how to get to your shop location?
MapQuest.com. Get driving directions for those hard-to-find locations!
Would you like to know more about grammar and punctuation?
EnglishPlus.com. This "How to" site covers it all!
Not sure if you met the narrative character requirement or can't remember how to spell that word?
SpellCheck.net Free online spell checker! Get a character count and a word count.
Need a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas etc.?
Need to know where you stand as an Independent Contractor?
NOLO.com Tax and legal information for Independent Contractors.
Wish you had all your contact info in one place to hand out?
VistaPrint.com. Print and design 250 FREE business cards! Market yourself as an Independent Contractor with professional business cards.
Have additional questions?
We'd love to hear from you. Contact us!
CSE pays evaluators on the 1st and 15th of each month by either PayPal or check. CSE will deposit payment into your PayPal account, or if you do not choose to receive payments via PayPal, we will cut a check and mail it to the address you have listed in your eView® profile. If you have a question regarding how payment works or a specific payment, please contact us.
To receive your payment through PayPal:
- Choose Yes to "Will you accept PayPal payments?" in your eView® shopper profile.
- Ensure the email address you have in your eView shopper profile is the email address registered to your PayPal account.
To receive your payment by check:
- Choose No to "Will you accept PayPal payments?" in your eView® shopper profile.
- Ensure your address is current and correct in your eView® shopper profile; this is where your payment check will be mailed.
To receive payment for a shop that included a purchase/reimbursement:
- All ORIGINAL itemized receipts for your purchase(s) must be uploaded to your mystery shopping form or mailed to CSE based on guideline requirements. Please mail your receipt(s)to:
Customer Service Experts, Inc.
2901 Riva Trace Parkway, Suite 100
Annapolis, MD 21401
Attn: (Please enter the name of your Coordinator here)
- If you are mailing your original receipt, CSE requires receipts to be postmarked and/or received by a specified date. Please refer to your Shop Guidelines or email your coordinator to see when your receipts are due.
- Once receipts are received at CSE, payment will be processed as described above.
- Make a copy of all receipts PRIOR to mailing the originals back to us. Mail receipts right away once your shop is completed…don't wait until the last minute!
- CSE reserves the right to hold, reduce or deny shop pay if the assigned work is not completed as specified in the guidelines. Reasons for not receiving payment include but are not excluded to: unprofessional conduct, failure to submit a shop in a timely manner, failure to update a shop in a timely manner, and failure to follow any portion of the guidelines. CSE also reserves the right to withhold shop reimbursements if the original receipts are not uploaded to the mystery shopping form or postmarked no later than 5 days after a shop is conducted.
Designing solutions for human and organizational development is both an art and a science and CSE approaches every mystery-shopping program as unique.
First, we glean pertinent information about the client company and their industry to help shape a truly valuable and sustainable program. From there, we design a mystery shopping form to accurately measure interactions and align with our client's standards. A vital part of our mystery shopping form is its ability to solicit actionable data conductive to employee development. The result is a Mystery shopping form that is a highly effective diagnostic and performance improvement tool that monitors and enhances service delivery.
CSE takes careful measures to execute mystery-shopping strategies professionally and effectively, while always ensuring that the intended audience gains a developmental benefit. The single most important element of our mystery shops is their ability to improve employee performance and our shoppers are vital to ensuring that success. The level of detail and information that we request of our shoppers is far and above beyond standard industry practice. But it is through the meticulous work of our shoppers and their carefully reported interactions that we are able to develop employees, make organizational improvements and create positive customer experiences for our client partners.
CSE Consultants work with our clients to pinpoint problem areas and/or areas for recognition based on your mystery shops. Consultants often use results from your mystery shops to write custom training programs for our clients that may be integrated into employee performance reviews. We are incredibly grateful to our shoppers for the work they do in helping us make a difference within client companies.