The pure definition of mystery shopping or secret shopping, whether it is done in Syracuse, Upstate New York, or anywhere across the globe, is a form of market research designed to measure the quality of retail service or gather specific information about products and services.  Although, I believe it should not be limited to only retail specific experiences.

As is the case with most market research, tools are designed to analyze the end-user, whereas mystery shopping or secret shopping is designed to analyze the point-of-contact delivering the experience to the end-user.  Therefore the analysis is focused on the process rather than the end-result.  Through past projects here at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) outside of Syracuse, NY, we have managed many mystery shopping projects that go well beyond point of contact from a retail perspective.

In general, some clients have internal research departments who conduct their own market research, while other smaller clients utilize their staff to do market research through less than optimal survey tools such as SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang.  Mystery shopping services are a core competency for RMS.  Our clients come to us because they can’t do it in-house.  Employers cannot send out their own employees to mystery shop one another (or at least they shouldn’t).  There are lots of issues that are inherent with one employee with his/her own agenda, mystery shopping another employee.  Let alone, if he or she was recognized.

Mystery Shopping or Secret Shopping can extend far beyond researching a simple retail exchange.  Here is just a sample of projects where RMS has provided mystery shopping services:

  • A local college used RMS to design, conduct and report on mystery shops to admissions counselors and campus tour guides.  The college is using the mystery shopping to improve their initial student experiences.
  • A health insurance company that provides coverage in Syracuse, NY used RMS to conduct mystery shopping calls around appointment availability at specific doctors’ offices.  The insurance company is using the mystery shopping to garner information on access to care.
  • As a component of a feasibility study, a local senior living provider used RMS to conduct competitive research on other senior living options in the Greater Syracuse area.  The mystery shopping calls collected information on competitive rates, service offerings, occupancy rates, and availability.
  • Similar to the prior bullet, a local real estate client used RMS to conduct another form of competitive research around apartment living offerings in the city of Syracuse.  Similarly, mystery shopping information was collected on rates, service offerings, occupancy rates, and availability.

Interested in mystery shopping or secret shopping services in Syracuse, NY?  Contact Sandy Baker, our Director of Business Development, at 315-635-9802 or