The Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA) has appointed Jill Spencer as Global Chair. She is Associate Director of React CX, the UK customer experience specialist and has launched the ‘International Year of the Customer’.
MSPA represents the worldwide customer experience industry. The 450 member companies’ services include customer experience strategy, market research, merchandising, private investigation, training, coaching and mystery shopping services.
“Every year should be a ‘year of the customer’ – but the challenges of 2019 demand smart strategies to counter the huge disruption across the traditional retailing sector, with unrelenting pressure on profits,” says Jill Spencer.
“Recent published financial results in the US and Europe show that focus on value propositions – the promise of value to be delivered – out-performs discounting and other tactics, as buyers continue to demand more from their in-store experience.
“The importance of a positive experience has never been clearer; 64 percent of shoppers say customer experience is more important than price. Millennials are willing to spend up to 21 percent more to get great customer service. Whilst competitive pricing will always remain a factor in a company’s strategy, great service is the key factor. And that’s where the MSPA can help”.
MSPA members help businesses understand what their customers want and road test each step of their experience, she says – from entering a store, to selecting goods and services, asking for help from staff and making payment.
“We operate as a temperature check – measuring designed experience against delivered experience – or tactically to address specific situations, such as complaint handling. Ultimately, we can identify where things are going wrong and advise how to put them right. The MSPA and its members have services and systems to measure, benchmark and report on performance from the experience of mystery shoppers,” she says.
For further information: ReactCX – Bank House, 15 Gosditch St, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AG | (0)1285 644144 | www.reactcx.com
About Jill Spencer
Jill Spencer is Associate Director of React CX and has held senior positions at mystery shopping service provider companies since 2000, having previously worked with major retailers in the customer experience sector. She says:
“My goal continues to be to raise the profile of customer experience in the boardroom as a key issue for the performance and profitability of retail and leisure businesses. The task of fully understanding the experience – to then do more of what customers want, and less of what they don’t – should inform all aspects of the business, from training and service provision, to marketing and store layout. It is testament to my success that so many businesses are now placing customer service at the very top of their boardroom agenda.”
Jill Spencer’s more recent work has focused on the engagement and education of frontline staff. This has included increasing their understanding of the importance of customer experience and providing clear leadership and direction in relation to performance goals.
This results in a more engaged workforce, as well as a clear movement from a ‘task focused’ to ‘customer centric’ work ethic, she says. Her work has included confirming the correlation between higher levels of engagement by staff with customers, and stronger sales performance.
Jill has written a series of case studies and reports on the return on investment from customer research. She regularly speaks at conferences throughout the world on the topic of Customer Experience. Jill has worked as a board member of MSPA Europe/Africa since 2012 and was appointed President in 2017. She replaced Rich Bradley, President and CEO of CX Orlando as Global Chair for 2019.
The Association operates on a Regional basis worldwide, with Chapters located in Americas, Europe/Africa and Asia Pacific. Member companies unite as a common body for the purpose of strengthening the Mystery Shopping industry through combined efforts and actions.
It is the goal of the MSPA to improve and stimulate the acceptance, performance, reputation and use of Mystery Shopping services worldwide.
The primary goals of the MSPA are to:
1. Establish professional standards and ethics for the industry.
2. Educate providers, clients and shoppers to improve quality of service.
3. Improve the image of the industry through public relations and conduct.
4. Promote members to other industry associations and prospect clients.
The MSPA is run by its members, for its members. Each Chapter, Americas, Europe/Africa and Asia Pacific, has their own Board of Directors, overseen by the Global Board.