Mystery shopping, also known as secret shopping is a process where a person visits an establishment and rates the quality of customer experience they provide. The common businesses which hire mystery shopping companies are restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, resorts, and retail outlets. However, other businesses such as amusement parks, movie theatres, and others also utilize this service from time to time to check on their performance.
What is a Mystery Shopper?
People who evaluate these establishments are called mystery shoppers. They are freelancers hired by secret shopper companies to conduct a scheduled visit on assigned areas. Mystery shopping companies look for people who fit the target population of a certain establishment and assign them there to evaluate the place. A mystery shopper should know how to blend in with other customers to avoid being noticed by the management. This keeps the treatment he/she receives bias-free.
Things Evaluated by a Mystery Shopper
Secret shoppers are given a list on what to look for or evaluate in a visit. The checklist varies among companies but the most common are:
- How long before they are greeted and in what manner?
- Maximum waiting time
- Overall atmosphere (temperature, cleanliness, ambiance, noise control)
- Observance of company standards such as uniforms, etc.
- Complete services offered
A mystery shopper enters the establishment and makes necessary actions to evaluate customer experience which also includes purchasing a product or a service. Anything they spend while on the job is provided or reimbursed by the company. They may also take photos around the establishment or record few conversations with workers to serve as proof.
How to Become a Good Mystery Shopper
To become a good mystery shopper, you must possess these qualities: attention to detail, objective, memory, and promptness. You must be keen even on the tiniest detail when doing an evaluation. No matter how big or small a detail is, it will affect the overall rating of a place. Being objective means that you set aside your personal preferences when noting your observations. Having a good memory is an essential tool in secret shopping since you have to remember how things exactly went through to make a detailed report. Also, make sure that you finish your task within deadlines. Usually, secret shopping companies allow a day to complete an establishment.
How to Choose a Legit Mystery Shopping Company
There are plenty of scammers out there that are just waiting for anyone to take their bait. When looking for a mystery shopping company to apply for, steer away from those who require joiner’s or shopper’s certification fee. You should never pay anything to get a job. Also, don’t go for companies who offer a set income. Mystery shopping is only a part-time job so never expect a full daytime job salary. To make sure that you’re applying for a legit company, check if they’re a member of the Mystery Shopper Providers Association.
Mystery shopping is a great way to earn extra cash on the sides. If you have some spare time, try this freelance job now.