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Mystery shopping company recognised for quality

Douglas Stafford achieves international quality management standard.

Douglas Stafford, a company whose services include mystery shopping, has attained ISO 9001:2008 in recognition of its quality management systems (QMS). The internationally recognised standard was achieved through Certification International.

Douglas Stafford has worked with large blue chip companies across a broad range of consumer markets for more than 20 years, delivering performance improvement programmes which help them measure, understand and improve their customers’ retail experiences. These are achieved through highly cost-effective mystery shopping and customer surveys, and are supported by industry-leading training programmes and processes that are proven to improve standards of customer service. In achieving ISO 9001:2008, it ensures first class quality management systems are in operation throughout Douglas Stafford’s operations and that these systems are monitored and maintained for future improvement.

Assessing Douglas Stafford for ISO 9001:2008 provided a particular challenge for Certification International’s auditors as the identity of a mystery shopper and their activities need to remain unknown. However, a solution was found to ensure its auditors were able to monitor Douglas Stafford staff without their work being identified by the retailer.

Douglas Stafford’s commercial director John Fieldhouse comments: “As a company we have always maintained a documented quality management system – it’s essential to maintaining a consistent level of quality. However, since we were getting more requests asking whether our quality systems were certified to a recognised standard, we made the decision to update our QMS in line with ISO 9001. The majority of our larger clients have ISO 9001 and prefer to deal with certified suppliers. We worked with Dean Moriarty Consulting to update our QMS to meet the required standard – a key contributor to our successful certification. In fact, the auditor reported to Certification International that Douglas Stafford’s QMS was one of the best systems he had come across and was well constructed and really well implemented. Our achievement has been due to the commitment of the whole team. However, our success has been driven by having champions of the cause at senior management level and the co-operation of somebody who understands the nuts and bolts of the business.”

Certification International is a UKAS accredited organisation which provides assessment, analysis and certification services to companies of all sizes across a variety of standards.

Certification International’s UK business manager Emma Fawcett-Jones says: “Although the auditing process provided a challenge, we were able to work with Douglas Stafford to find a suitable solution. As a mystery shopping company, it is important that Douglas Stafford has systems in place to ensure it can offer a high quality service which retailers can have confidence in. We’re delighted they have achieved certification to ISO 9001:2008 as it demonstrates the strategy they have in place to ensure quality remains at the forefront of all of its activities.”


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