MSPA EU/Africa elects Jill Spencer as President

Ref: ReactCX MSPA President

The MSPA, Mystery Shoppers Professionals Association, has appointed Jill Spencer as President. She is a Director of ReactCX, a leading UK customer experience research specialist.

The MSPA is the international association for the mystery shopping industry and has over 450 member companies worldwide, covering market research and merchandising, private investigation, training and mystery shopping services.

“With unrelenting pressure on profits, the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors call on MSPA members to help them understand what customers want and to test each step of their experience – from entering a store, to selecting goods and services, asking for help from staff, to paying and making a complaint. The MSPA and its members are at the forefront in services and systems to measure, benchmark and report on performance from the experience of mystery shoppers,” Jill Spencer says.

Research can be organised on a regular basis to check service levels, or address specific concerns or to evaluate new premises, promotions and changes in shop practices and processes, she says.

The MSPA publishes an international quarterly report on customer experience, the Net Happiness Score survey: for the latest report, mystery shoppers visited 43,775 stores, entertainment and other venues to assess how happy employees appear to be in engaging with each customer, with a possible maximum score of 100.

The UK continues to perform relatively well on this measure compared to the rest of Europe, but a fall from 57 to 55 per cent will be a concern for businesses given the close link between high employee engagement, a positive customer experience and a healthy bottom line, says Jill Spencer.

About Jill Spencer

Jill Spencer is a Director of ReactCX and has held senior positions at mystery shopping service professionals since 2000, previously working 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, entertainment and food and drink 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 our success that so many businesses are now placing customer service at the very top of their boardroom agenda.”

Jill Spencer’s most recent work has focused on the engagement and education of frontline staff. This has included increasing their understanding of the issue 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 has also spoken at conferences throughout the world on the topic of Customer Experience. Jill has worked as a board member of MSPA Europe since 2012, and was appointed President in 2017. She also sits on the Global Advisory Council in the capacity of Vice Chair.