Who wouldn’t like getting paid to eat, shop and critique? The newest kid on the block, mystery shopping, is here to seduce you in dark trial rooms and shady, dimly lit eateries. Wear your detective hat and get set to rate some popular and some not so popular stores, restaurants and all things in between.
For the uninitiated, mystery shopping is an innovative way of evaluating customer service at stores. It is a quality control mechanism that can prove to be a fun experience for the mystery shopper. Mystery shoppers help companies evaluate how their employees measure up in terms of quality, service, integrity and honesty. Mystery shopping companies are given a specific set of instructions by the client company about what aspects of their customer service they want evaluated. The shopping company then assigns this project to a mystery shopper, laying out their tasks and expected behaviour in great detail.
So what do these client companies do with this kind of information? Well, that depends on each company and the phase it is in. Some companies might use this information for checking quality or safety issues, for employee rewards and benefits, for improving the quality of training and so on. Mystery shoppers usually have no clue as to how their report is used.
Time to bust some widely harboured myths related to mystery shopping. Does getting paid to simply eat and shop sounds a little too good to be true. Well, guess what. It is! A mystery shopper’s job involves a lot more than just having a great time. They need to follow a set of instructions and prepare a comprehensive report on the day of the shopping. Certain guidelines need to be met and shoppers are often simply reimbursed instead of getting a fat paycheque like most of us have been led to believe.
Another myth associated with mystery shopping is that it enables you to get rich and sustain a living. The problem with mystery shopping is that very few people get enough work to make a living out of it. As an extension of the same fact, we can well imagine why it is nearly impossible to get rich based on mystery shopping alone.
Mystery shopping isn’t about passing judgments clouded with prejudice or ignorance. It isn’t about your personal opinions but it requires an objective, factual approach and report.
When it comes to the compensation part of this job, it might do you well to not expect too much too soon. You must come to terms with the fact that most companies will pay you only after 4-5 productive weeks into the job and this will include reimbursements etc. Thus, it makes no sense for you to do this job if you urgently need the money.
Mystery shopping can be a lot of fun. However, it is a job that requires a high degree of seriousness and dedication. You have strong opinions on the kind of customer service you ought to receive? Wait not for a second more because mystery shopping is just the thing for you.