LRA Worldwide’s Jeff Gurtman to Speak at International Association of Service Evaluators Annual Conference

Horsham, PA, October 20, 2008 --( Jeff Gurtman, a highly-regarded thought leader in the mystery shopping industry, will address the attendees at the International Association of Service Evaluators (IASE) Annual Conference this Thursday, October 23 at the Union League in Philadelphia, PA. Gurtman is an Account Director with LRA Worldwide, Inc., a leading consulting and research firm in the growing discipline of Customer Experience Management; Gurtman’s presentation topic is “Mystery Shopping in the Market Research Arena.”

The IASE is a 15-year old organization devoted to advancing the mystery shopping industry by promoting ethical practices and sharing tools and resources to increase efficiency, productivity and data quality. Gurtman will explore best practices in gathering mystery shopping data for use in market research initiatives, as well as applications for mystery shopping in a larger research initiative.

“This is an important topic for the industry to understand,” Gurtman explained. “It helps shift the perception of mystery shopping from a murky, covert activity to a legitimate means of gathering field-based data that would be otherwise inaccessible by traditional customer research methods.”

Conference attendees will hear from subject matter experts on a variety of additional topics, including Shopper Demographics and Mystery Shopping as a Licensed Private Investigator, among others.

The IASE invited Gurtman to speak based on his stature in the industry, having previously helped grow Coyle Hospitality Group, and on LRA’s extensive work in the field. LRA partners on Quality Assurance, Mystery Shopping and/or Research initiatives with leading companies and brands in lodging (Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts), timeshare (Shell Vacations Club, Ritz-Carlton Club), gaming (Foxwoods Resort Casino, Station Casinos), sports (Churchill Downs Incorporated, International Speedway Corporation), recreation (Stowe Mountain Resort), homebuilding (Toll Brothers, Inc.) and conference centers (ARAMARK Harrison Lodging).

“We feel like we’ve uncovered a few things at LRA that help combat the commoditization of the mystery shopping business,” Gurtman explained. “If we can help perpetuate some of these practices, it will benefit everyone connected to the industry by providing better fees, better margins and – most importantly – better data for clients.”

About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.

In LRA’s 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question – "How do we get better?" In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the National Basketball Association, the PGA TOUR and Ritz-Carlton Clubs deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit them at

LRA Worldwide, Inc.
Zach Conen