(American Society for Training & Development) The world's largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD's members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in more than 125 U.S. chapters and with more than 20 international partners. Members work in thousands of organizations of all sizes—in government, as independent consultants, and suppliers. CSE has been a proud member of ASTD since 2009.


(Customer Experience Management) A strategy that focuses the operations, processes and behavior of a business around creating a positive customer experience.


The exchange of information, either interpersonal or widespread, throughout a group or several groups of people.


The elements that, when supporting each other and working in concert, create an environment for a healthy service culture: employees, service principles, processes, leadership, communication and learning and development.


Responsible for recruiting and contracting mystery shoppers for work, preparing them with appropriate information for the assignment and providing needed support for successful completion. Coordinators manage the mystery shop process to ensure deadlines are met.


The ASTD Certification Institute's Certified Professional in Learning and Performance Certification (CPLP) equips professionals with the tools to be the best in the field and signifies that the designees have real world, practical expertise that can be readily applied to the current work environment. CPLP designees possess the capability, credibility and confidence to be high performing contributors in the learning and performance industry. The CPLP is the predominant credential for the training and development profession.

Two of CSE's Leadership team members, Jill Donnelly and Patty Thompson, are CPLP certified.


A person who is being served by another person. Customers could be internal, for example, employees serving each other; or external, for example, a front-line employee serving a consumer.

Customer Experience

The sum of all experiences a customer has with a company over the lifecycle of their relationship. Could also refer to a single experience that a customer has with a company. Either way, the experience perception is typically derived through multiple channels.


(Every Connection Counts) The basic premise that there are more connections to the customer-employee relationship than just the customer and the employee. The connection between each of the elements in the eC² Model (employee, service principles, leadership, processes, communication, learning and development and customer) determines the health of an organization's service culture.

eC² Principle

Identifies the elements (or "connections") that create an environment for a healthy service culture and the manner in which these elements are to be realized.

eC²® Model

The graphic representation of the eC²® Principle.


CSE's monthly electronic magazine (e-zine) that provides service expertise, news, resources, and knowledge to our readers, their organizations and their world. Offers readers insight into customer and employee experiences and practical ways to improve these experiences. Subscribe here.


An independent contractor responsible for reviewing mystery shops for accuracy and completeness.

Employee Experience

The sum of all experiences an employee has with their organization, over the lifecycle of their employment with that organization. This experience perception is typically derived through multiple channels.

Employee Survey

Method of obtaining feedback from employees by providing an opportunity to anonymously answer predetermined questions in a survey.


CSE's sophisticated experience measurement platform, used to capture and report data that provides tactical knowledge and drives performance improvement.  With this system, mystery shops, surveys and audits can be viewed individually and data can be pulled together into reports based on specified criteria (i.e. date ranges, locations, supervisor, etc.). 


Document outlining the contracted work; used to provide the mystery shopper with information, expectations and requirements necessary to complete the mystery shop.


(Independent Contractor Agreement) A contract that clearly spells out the relationship between a business and independent contractor hired to do work for that business. CSE hires mystery shoppers and editors as independent contractors.

Independent Contractor

A person, business or corporation that provides goods or services to another entity under terms specified in a contract (ICA) or within a verbal and physical agreement. Unlike an employee, an independent contractor does not work regularly for an employer but works as and when required.


The position or function of a leader. The act or instance of leading, guiding, directing.

Learning and development

The modification of behavior of individuals or groups through practice, training or experience.


(The Mystery Shopping Providers Association) is the largest professional trade association dedicated to improving service quality using anonymous resources. With over 400 member companies worldwide, the association's diverse membership includes marketing research and merchandising companies, private investigation firms, training organizations and companies that specialize in providing mysteryshopping services. Member companies work with their clients to establish mechanisms to measure and improve levels of service. CSE has been a proud member since 1998.

Mystery Shop

The act of completing an assignment to pose as a customer with the intent of measuring and reporting the experience against a specified set of standards.

The completed documented record of a mystery shopper's experience on a contracted assignment.

Mystery Shop Form

The non-completed document (online) that contains a specified set of standards with which a mystery shopper will evaluate and report their experience from a contracted assignment.

Mystery Shopper

An individual who poses as a customer with the intent of measuring and reporting their experience based on a specified set of standards.


A series of actions directed to some end.

Service Culture

An organization's shared values, beliefs, assumptions, customs and practices from a service perspective; they shape and influence perception and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization. An organizational service culture is realized, for example, in the nature of internal (employee to employee) relations, external (employee to customer) relations, the types of people hired, performance and promotion criteria, rewards and censure, work climate and management style.

Service Experience

A customer or employee's experience with an organization from a service perspective, including personal interaction, written words, organizational processes, and physical and on-line space.

Service Principles

Standards of practice and behavior that guide an individual and/or an organization toward operating with a focus on service.

Service Development

The process of evolving an organization and its people toward a culture of service.