Being a great secret shopper is simple, but that does not mean that it is easy. Secret shopping is a business, and successful secret shoppers are professionals who take their work seriously. The tips in this article will make you a great secret shopper and help you get more and better secret shopper jobs.
Doing these seven things will make you a better—and a more successful—secret shopper.
1. Do a great application. The information on the application will be all that the mystery shopping company knows about you. The more they know, the easier it is to match you to appropriate mystery shopper jobs. Answer every question completely and honestly. Provide a good writing sample with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation so they can see that you have the writing skills needed.
2. Be reliable. As many as 25% of secret shopper jobs accepted by shoppers are not completed and have to be reassigned. This creates lots of work for the companies as those jobs still have to be done, often at the last minute. If you take an assignment, do it on or before the due date.
3. Hone your writing skills. You do not have to be a great writer to be a great secret shopper, but you need solid writing skills. If you think your grammar and writing may not be up to par, take a business writing class at your local community college or keep a couple of good reference books on hand to check your writing.
4. Communicate. Do not hesitate to contact the mystery shopping company when you have questions about an assigned shop, or if something goes wrong before, during or after the shop. This is critical. Do not be embarrassed if you do not understand something or that you made a mistake. When you have a question or a problem, let the mystery shopping company know right away. They will appreciate it.
5. Read and follow the guidelines for the shop. The guidelines describe exactly what the client wants you to evaluate. Failing to follow the guidelines means that your shop may not be accepted and you will not be paid.
6. Complete the shop and the report on time. When you are offered a mystery shopper job you will know when it must be completed. There may be a range of days and times, or it may be very specific. In either case, put it on your calendar so you remember to do it before the deadline. Then do your report as soon as possible after your shop visit—the client needs the information while it is still fresh.
7. Be a pro. All of the tips in this article are about doing your best for your secret shopping clients. Mystery shopping companies have told me that only about 10% of their shoppers are excellent shoppers—people they know will always do their assignments reliably and correctly. Make it your goal to be one of the 10%. It is not always easy, but it is simple.