Empowering customers through Mystery Shopping

For more than a decade, SatisFIND has been home to a community of customers who believe in changing the way businesses look at customer service through the feedback we share as mystery shoppers. For those who are interested  to be a SatisFIND mystery shopper click http://satisfind.com/be-an-advocate

Understanding what mystery shopping is:

Mystery Shoppers are real customers who visit establishments they would anyway go to based on their usual lifestyle. The only difference between a regular customer visit and a mystery shopping visit is that the mystery shopper evaluates the experience while he or she is there based on guidelines provided prior to the visit. As a mystery shopper, your role is to provide feedback on what you experienced.

Mystery Shopping has been around since the 1940s and has been an effective method to provide truthful and detailed feedback to business owners and management teams about their own service delivery. Over the decades, mystery shopping has evolved and is used to evaluate opportunities to improve customer service, understand training needs of the service frontliners and recognize the strengths the employees have.

What mystery shopping is not:

While some may think of mystery shopping as an audit or policing employees, the truth is, it is not meant to find fault in people. Though service and experience gaps will be exposed, it is for the organization to recognize opportunities to support its people. SatisFIND believes that if businesses will take care of its employees, they will in turn take care of their customers. Everyone wins in the end!

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Qualities of a SatisFIND mystery shopper:

We don’t ask our mystery shoppers to do something out of the ordinary and beyond what a customer would normally do. Anyone wanting to help improve customer service, can observe well, have an eye for detail, remember things well, reliable, fair and can express observations well in writing, would make a great SatisFIND mystery shopper.

But what really matters at SatisFIND is the attitude of our mystery shoppers. Mutual respect and trust are values we have always believed in when working with our mystery shoppers. We appreciate mystery shoppers who thoroughly read and follow instructions well, as all information needed by the mystery shopper is provided in the project brief we provide. A complete understanding of the project brief and a review of the questionnaire before conducting the assignment will prevent you from missing out on an important item during your evaluation.

A SatisFIND Mystery Shopper’s responsibility:

While mystery shopping is fun and seen as a unique way of providing feedback to people who can make differences in an organization for the better, we take your mystery shopping reports very seriously. Real businesses and real people’s lives are affected with every report submitted by our mystery shoppers. The only thing we ask from our mystery shoppers who accept an assignment with us is to follow the instructions and timeline with a sense of commitment and responsibility. There will be many opportunities to work with SatisFIND, if you are not yet sure of your schedule, please do not block off a slot and reserve an assignment you cannot commit to conducting yet. We would like to give all our shoppers the opportunity to experience mystery shopping. We believe in the power of effective feedback.

What to expect from SatisFIND:

SatisFIND matches on-going projects with the customer profile of our shoppers. When you are matched with a project, you will receive an email inviting you to participate. Information about the project will be provided, such as guidelines, timeline, compensation and access to the questionnaire to be submitted after your mystery shopping visit. Compensation varies per project. Some projects provide a flat token fee, some provide a reimbursable purchase allowance for products bought or food consumed.

Accepting a mystery shopping assignment with SatisFIND will always be your choice and decision to make. Should you find the project interesting and worth your time and effort, you may respond by reserving for a slot for a branch near you. You will have to commit to a date and time you can conduct the assignment within the period provided for a particular project. The report must be submitted within 24 hours from the time you completed the assignment. It is most effective when we submit the feedback as soon as we can so it is fresh from our memory.

About SatisFIND:

Founded by Michelle Perez Patel in 2005 in the Philippines, SatisFIND provides in-depth mystery shopping and customer experience solutions to various organizations. SatisFIND is a member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – Asia Pacific Chapter. MSPA is the only professional trade association representing the Mystery Shopping industry worldwide. SatisFIND currently has offices in the Philippines, Singapore and India.


Why I do the work that I do

I usually don’t talk about my work with our clients because of confidentiality, but I felt inspired to share my thoughts about a recent experience working with one of the largest, and most respected Filipino-owned companies in the Philippines.

While most companies would still approach Customer Experience as an abstract concept — in theory, a priority, yet unclear how to go about it– here was a company who has been laying down the foundations for some time, as they have been listening to their customers using means readily accessible. They believe in having a seamless and consistent end-to-end customer experience journey and to break silos, which are barriers to achieving this.

When I was first called for a meeting 6 months ago, I was surprised with the volume of work the team had put together, they have identified over 700 different touchpoints, which could be part of a roadmap towards achieving excellent customer experience. The customer research work SatisFIND contributed was only a small part of a large initiative led by this team, which had the full support of the company’s president.

What I have observed working with them leading to an important workshop yesterday where results and proposed action plans were presented to the President and Executive team for approval validated my belief that building a customer-centric culture can only be led from the top.


I attended yesterday’s workshop as an observer and presenter for a small part of the research done. Kaiz joined me and we were the only “outsiders” in that session. The workshop started with a prayer – being in the Philippines, a very religious Catholic nation, this is not really a surprise. A video was played and with the prayer being recited out loud by everyone in the room, I was overcome with emotion because it was a heartfelt prayer of gratitude and hope for its customers, employees, its suppliers, and the government. I found this to be a profound reflection of the very core of the company.

After an energetic and highly engaging 5 hours, the commitment to deliver excellent customer experience has been sealed. The work has just begun for the team and the next 6 months will be more challenging than ever.

As the president gave his closing message where he mentioned the value of taking care of the company’s frontliners in order to take care of their customers, I looked at everyone in the room and felt proud to have been a silent witness to this, I felt optimistic about the future of customer experience in the Philippines and I felt proud to be Filipino.

This was a realization of SatisFIND’s purpose. These were the moments I live for.


5 Methods for Improving Customer Service NOW

Brands often think their products or services are so good they sell themselves. For a lot of businesses, however, the harsh reality is that if they are unable to deliver a remarkable experience during the time of interaction with the customer, they face the very real danger of their brand becoming less valuable when measured against their competitors. Brand reputation is one of the greatest assets one has in any business. Here are 5 quick checks and adjustments for improving customer service that you can do right now. (more…)


Bring #CommonCourtesy back: The monster in the elevator

I often get asked how to find the right people for customer-facing roles as candidates will always say the right things during interviews. In my head, I wanted to say, observe their behavior inside the elevator and you will see how sensitive they are about other people. How you are inside an elevator with a bunch of strangers shows the humanity in you.

Maybe you have seen some of these profiles in the past, or perhaps you’ll notice them more next time you’re inside the lift:

  1. “It’s not my job.” This person rushes to get in first, presses the floor number but does not bother holding the ‘open’ button for the other people coming in. S/he stands nearest to the control panel but does nothing. You may have experienced being inside the elevator and you see someone running to catch it as the door closes, but the those nearest to the door ignored it. Did you feel sorry for the other person? Or maybe you tell yourself, he can always catch the next lift anyway, it’s no big deal.

I remember how my friend screamed at the woman who did not press the open button while she was entering the lift with her baby in a stroller. The elevator door closed in on the stroller hard. I was walking behind her and saw how the woman had no emotion on her face at all. As an employer, I will not hire a person who would be indifferent to my customers, including babies!

I have been visiting one of the top hospitals in Manila recently for work and I’ve been noticing their elevator attendants for quite some time. They are young women who are pleasant, energetic and very patient. In my last visit, I was going up to the roof deck and as the last passenger before me left, I asked the attendant if she ever gets dizzy. She smiled at me and said “sanay na po” (I’m used to it). I asked how long she’s been doing this kind of work, and she answered “6 years”. In the Philippines, you can get a job as an elevator attendant because it’s still relevant. It’s interesting that we try to be updated with the latest gadgets, but we still couldn’t work the elevator by ourselves.



  1. “I am not moving.” The lift opens at your floor and it’s “full” of people, but if you look closely, there’s a lot of space at the back. I have observed this in office buildings even in the central business districts. I often find myself saying out loud that there’s a lot of space at the back, and politely asking people to move back. I can feel the apprehension and can almost smell their fear to move back to make way for more people.

I feel there’s fear that they might “miss” their stop because the people in front won’t give them enough space to get out. I know it sounds farfetched but we see this on a daily basis. Unless you suffer from claustrophobia, I could not understand why anyone would really do this. As an employer, I will not hire someone who would deprive others of convenience due to their own selfishness.

  1. “Let’s have an elevator joyride!” In office buildings that have poor elevator to tenant ratio, you will often see people pressing UP when in fact, they need to go DOWN. They will crowd the lift and join you up to the top floor, so they can be assured of their space as the lift goes down. They are probably driven by simple economics – law of supply and demand. However, they slow down the process for others just to get ahead. As an employer, I will avoid hiring people who show little patience and would have no regard for other people and the processes in place.

If only hiring for customer-facing jobs could be this simple for employers, but in real life, it’s not. Just as kids fear the monster under the bed, adults fear the monster inside the elevator. It’s time we learn our elevator etiquette again.

Let’s bring common courtesy back. I would love to hear your own experiences (inside the elevator or not) and ideas on how we can change old habits for the better.


Image source: www.clipartbest.com



Top 5 Customer Service Insights for Entrepreneurs

Michelle Patel shares with the #Leapreneur community her top customer service insights for entrepreneurs.

Click here to view the post


Image courtesy: –leapreneur.com