The customer journey map knows no borders: International mystery shopping ensures brand and service consistency across countries and cultures

The customer journey map knows no borders: International mystery shopping ensures brand and service consistency across countries and cultures


Globalization. It’s proven an enormous boon for some of the most recognized names in corporate America – from Wal-Mart to General Electric, from Ford to McDonald’s. These U.S. firms and so many more like them have capitalized on rapid growth in emerging markets like China, India, Europe and Latin America, earning stronger profits than if they were dependent on the U.S.Global Reach - Local Presence economy alone.

Yet at the same time these “multinationals” face significant challenge ensuring brand and service consistency across countries and across cultures. In fact, managing the customer experience is often the largest investment many of these businesses make – and it can be the most critical component of their success.

More and more, companies competing on a global scale use international mystery shopping services to deploy “undercover CEOs” or brand agents to gauge and improve the customer service experience. Multilingual mystery shopping gives a factual synopsis of key performance indicators (KPI’s), measuring how well company policies are implemented and brand experience is reinforced at every customer touch point, despite geographic boundaries.

With international mystery shoppers posing as actual customers – by purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints, and the like – and then documenting their experience or other findings, companies can:

  • Measure the designed or intended customer experience
  • Communicate customer experience strategy and accountability;
  • Measure employee training effectiveness, performance and productivity;
  • Measure the extent to which its team supports the brand identity and value proposition;
  • Improve conversion rates to maximize the advertising and promotional investment;
  • Uncover any disconnect between corporate culture, policy and the designed customer experience; and
  • Quantify workforce impact, as well as assess the need for future investment in human resource capital and/or job development.

Who can benefit?

International or multilingual mystery shopping is a key business tool that gives any company the flexibility to use cause and effect linkage to understand return on investment, brand and perpetual workforce performance.

Proof is in the numbers: Forbes salary and employment data from 2011, gathered from 1.2 million businesses across the U.S. alone, show there are an impressive 4,270,550 employees in sales – everything from apparel, autos, appliances, furniture and more. These same customers are serviced by 3,314,870 cashiers across the country. Together, that’s more than 7.5 million brand ambassadors touching the customer experience and influencing their overall impression of the brand. And that’s just in sales alone. Double that number and you’re closer to an accurate representation of the workforce that can be impacted by mystery shopping.

Consider it on a global scale, and the results are far, far reaching.

The SEC advantage and the International Mystery Shopping Alliance
Service Evaluation Concepts offers some of the most robust tools to gather front-line business intelligence including international mystery shopping services incorporating a network of more than 250,000 brand agents expertly trained to assess brand and service consistency on a global scale.

All of our international mystery shoppers are trained in market research methodologies as well as client-specific needs of the engagement. We also carefully match our international mystery shoppers to clients to ensure the right fit. Our goal? An unparalleled level of skill, reliability and professionalism – and demonstrable results for our clients.

To learn more about how we can put our multilingual mystery shopping services to work for your company, please complete a request for information today.

It all comes down to customer experience
In reality, every business interaction comes down to the human dimension or these two factors:

  1. Do your customers say you are easy to do business with?
  2. Is your business empowering your front-line employees, as ambassadors of the brand, to deliver the designed customer experience?

Companies today strive to differentiate themselves on the basis of customer experience.
And multilingual mystery shopping, through companies like Service Evaluation Concepts, can help advance that goal, fueling economic growth and overall return on investment.

To learn more about deploying our international mystery shoppers to benefit your company, call us at 516.576.1188516.576.1188 x3530, or email us at

Download the MSPA North America industry report, Mystery Shopping: A Critical Industry for Thousands of Businesses.