When several mystery shopping companies were asked what makes someone a good mystery shopper, they came up with remarkably similar answers. They said that their best mystery shoppers are those who care about customer service and want to help businesses improve. The best shoppers understand the importance of the work and take mystery shopping seriously. And, although they like making the extra money and getting the free perks that come with mystery shopping, they truly enjoy the work and aren’t in it just for the money.
According to the companies surveyed, a mystery shopper must be:
This is a business, and companies depend on you to complete your shop as assigned. The biggest complaint of mystery shopping companies is that shoppers take assignments, don’t do them and don’t communicate with the company. In fact, approximately 25% of assignments accepted aren’t completed by the shoppers and must be reassigned. It happens often enough that there is a term for it: It is called “flaking” on a shop. Do your shops on time, as you agreed, and you will be off to a good start.
You may have to juggle multiple assignments with different requirements and deadlines from more than one company. Keeping track of what is due and when is a critical part of being a secret shopper, and it requires organization.
Able to Read and Follow Written Guidelines.
Clients have specific requirements about when and how shops are to be completed. You must follow those guidelines in order to complete a valid shop. The guidelines may include things like the days and times during which the shop should be completed, scenarios and questions to use, required purchases and more.
During a shop you will have to obtain employee names, descriptions, and other details. Being able to spot things such as missing name tags, unpriced items and other issues is important.
Able to Remember Details.
The more information you can retain, the easier it will be to complete quality reports. Your memory does not have to be perfect, but the better your memory, the better your reports will be.
Mystery shopping is not opinion research, and you are not writing a review. Most questions on a mystery shopping report form are yes/no. Either something happened or it didn’t. Something was true or it was not. Simply state the facts. Do not offer your opinions unless they are requested.
A shop may have to be done within a short time frame, or the client may require that it be done at a certain time or on a certain day. The more flexible you are about when and where you can shop, the more valuable you are to the mystery shopping company.
Clients depend on the information in mystery shopping reports to make important business decisions. Don’t try to fake a report or answers on the report. First of all, you should have the integrity to do the shop right. If that’s not enough motivation for you, you should know that you will probably be caught. There are ways to verify the information in your report.
It is important that you carefully prepare for the shop and know exactly what is expected of you. When doing the shop, do everything you were asked to do and get all of the required information. Completely answer all questions on the form, including appropriate comments and narratives. Check your report for accuracy and completeness before submitting it. Submit all required documentation, such as receipts.
A Good Writer.
The comments and narratives you write should make the reader feel as if they are sharing your experience, seeing what you saw, and hearing what you heard. You don’t need to be a brilliant writer, but you must be able to paint a vivid picture in words. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation are important.
These requirements are simple and straightforward. If you do not possess all of these skills, most can be acquired with a little effort or practice.