About Us

ABa is a group of happy, passionate and proactive people who are united by a genuine belief that what we do makes a big difference for our clients, their customers and (we hope) makes the world a little bit better as well. We know many organisations would say that their difference is their people; with us, our people are our everything – they make us who we are and create the difference we offer to our clients.

Our points of difference

  • In house Tech Team
  • Hand-picked, well briefed & fully equipped field-team
  • Personal, experienced & committed project management
  • Always available to offer our Assessors advice & support

For every assessment, we…

  • Pay our Assessors a fair fee (exclusive of any purchases required)
  • Evaluate performance & provide tailored feedback to our Assessors
  • Encourage open lines of communication with our field-team
  • Make a donation to charity

Our mission

In all we do, we strive to make our world a happier one – for us, for our customers and for our customer’s customer. We achieve a step change in service one assessment at a time, knowing that each improvement, each development and every act of kindness has a positive impact on the lives it touches. We deliver a service, and much more: we build successful partnerships and client relationships that evolve over time.

Our history

The way we are, and the way we design CX measurement programmes, come from the same place and the same philosophy: that people can come together to create wonderful experiences and exceptional work. It’s something that was dear to the heart of our founder, Alan Butterworth, who established ABa in 1990 to offer Mystery Shopping Services in the Leisure Sector. In 1995, we placed our first (and to date, only) advert, secured our first client in the Retail Sector and from then on, we haven’t stopped.

ABa has stayed in the family since then, with MD Kate – Alan’s daughter – her husband Conrad and mother Mary maintaining our close-knit, friendly and family ethos. We believe that taking care of the people in our business is the most important thing we can do to ensure that our business and work keep improving.

Kate Jacobson
Managing Director
Chewie Jacobson
Head of Barketing
Conrad Jacobson
Director of Technology

Our culture

We embody and encourage a spirit of friendliness, and real empathy for everyone in our client environments. Our way of working is about driving a love of discovering new ways to do things and true proactivity. We believe there’s always something you can do to improve and learn, and always something you can do to make your clients’ lives easier and better.

That spirit is what binds every one of us in our Head Office, and which is communicated and spreads to our diverse teams of Assessors around the country.

It’s this binding culture that ensures that our knowledge of customer experience continuously improves. It supports our technical and programme design innovation to be more creative and compelling. All of which helps our collaboration with our clients to consistently grow. Which is why our clients say the great things they say about us and stay with us for many years of partnership.

Our values


We do not stand still, we continuously strive to create innovative, efficient solutions and improve on everything we do.


We step up, we take responsibility, add value and find ways to delight our customers and colleagues.


We are positive, compassionate and kind, we help our customers, each other and ourselves to grow.

Our brilliance


Our data is built to deliver the most robust, relevant and real-world insight to everyone it touches, from strategic decision-makers to the service teams it’s designed to support. We treat data the way it should be treated – as the lifeblood of your organisation and one of the most powerful resources available to improve, innovate and drive change. It’s not just about moving trend lines, passive numbers and endless reports. It’s accurate, relevant, timely insight, delivered through the interfaces that today’s decision-makers need - digitally, visually, easy to consume, easy to compare, and thoroughly compelling.


We are so proud of our Tech Team, who continuously delight us and our clients with their innovative solutions. To our knowledge, nobody else in our industry has an in-house, dedicated technology innovation team. It’s this that enables us to develop and deliver highly specific and ever-evolving assessment tools, flexible user interfaces and insightful data dashboards.


Our understanding of every aspect of a modern, proactive, digital and physical customer experience is based on decades of insight and on-the-ground working. We use this depth of knowledge to create programmes that reflect the realities of life on the frontline of customer service – which is where we’ve come from – as well as the needs of the boardroom, operational leaders and shareholders.


Our Mystery Shopper and Assessor teams are some of the best and most highly-trained in the industry – hand-picked, well-briefed, insightful, and fully equipped every time they go out into the field. We see our Assessors as part of our family, not as names on a database. We invest in them, and in their education of our clients’ requirements, standards, policies and culture, and run regular Roadshows to engage, educate and gain unique face to face feedback from them. By ensuring that our Assessors are the best, and deploying them in small and focused teams, we ensure that the information we get is as precise, relevant and actionable as possible.