This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: A law firm partnered with RMS to conduct a mystery shopping competitive assessment study. The firm wanted to better understand competitor pricing, payment plans offered, and prospective client experience. The market research objective was to provide the client with the insights needed to determine their competitive stance in the legal marketplace.

Approach: The study involved the completion of three mystery shops for each of the 15 competitors investigated. For each competitor, a mystery shop was implemented to obtain information regarding a prospective first offense, second offense, and felony offense. All shops were performed by the RMS QualiSight facility, a team of trained researchers experienced at routinely conducting mystery shops. All supporting documentation, including details for each of the three scenarios utilized, was developed in consultation with the client to ensure accuracy in data collection procedures. All mystery shops were digitally recorded and audited internally for quality. An identical approach was completed with the client’s law firm for comparative purposes.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The data revealed that the price quoted for a first offense and second offense were the same (on average), although the second offense carried a wider range of quoted prices. As expected, a felony offense resulted in the highest quotes and largest spread of quoted prices from competitors.
  • When comparing data gathered from competitors to that obtained from the client’s firm, RMS determined that for all scenarios, the client’s pricing was within the range of quotes obtained from competitors.
  • While some firms appeared to have a clear pricing structure, others provided estimates on a case-by-case basis. Interestingly, several of the organizations refused to provide information for a felony offense without an in-person consultation where details of the case could be reviewed.
  • A majority of the firms investigated did not offer an official payment plan, but most of them indicated a willingness to work out some form of payment structure with the prospective client. Of those that offered a payment plan, all required a down payment for at least one of the three scenarios completed.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in conducting a market research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at