A 101 Guide to Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping allows companies to obtain an evaluation of their service at a given point in time through trained researchers. It provides management with a method to evaluate their business practices, deliverables, and employees from the perspective of a non-biased consumer. Though this is common in most period of the year during the Christmas period Mystery shopper are almost doubled in number to increase efficiency during the Christmas shopping period.
After a visit or call businesses detailed evaluations of their experience using written reports or questionnaires are undertaken. This can be in a numerical 1 to 10 scoring or through open comments, were the customers will provide detailed comments on their experience. Though normally used in retail stores Mystery shoppers are been introduced in to many other industries such as restaurants, financial institutions, service providers, manufacturers and call centres.
Shoppers must have a level of level of professionalism to be effective, though they should try to replicate a real shopping experience. The best method to become a mystery shopper is through a mystery shopping company; these companies should not ask for any monthly charges though may require admin costs.
Training should be provided free to registered shoppers. Mystery shoppers are normally paid a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop or reimbursement for a purchase.
Registering as a mystery shopper is normally very easy, some may ask for a phone confirmation call. Recently some companies have started using online forms to register which has decrease to the registration times to minutes. Once registered you can start to accept the shopping opportunities, most work on a first come, first serve basis, others may be targeted to a particular age or sex.
In the beginning accept all work possible and build up a reputation with the company in order to earn higher paid assignments. Some of the better shoppers use digital cameras to photography product placement and store cleanliness, I have even heard of some using hidden video cameras to record their experiences. Make sure you completely understand the instructions for the particular shop, be impartial, and focus on accuracy. You may be required to document employee names and descriptions, prices, inventory evaluations, etc.
Make sure to complete a assign work to a high standard and on time. If you absolutely cannot complete an assignment, contact the mystery shopping company immediately so they can reschedule the assignment. Please remember to check and double check all responses to the company for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Mystery shopping may not become your next career, but it will provide you with some extra income perfect to help out with the Christmas shopping costs.