As mystery shoppers, we work with a lot of mystery shopping companies. Many shoppers are registered with twenty, fifty or more companies—some secret shoppers are in the data bases of more than 200 different mystery shopping companies!
So why do some companies seem to want to make it harder for us to work with them?
Although there is competition for mystery shopper jobs, there is also competition for great mystery shoppers. Every company wants to attract the best and the brightest shoppers so they can provide their clients with the best possible information. However, many of the things they do are likely to turn off some of the very shoppers they most want to attract.
I am not referring to big things here. Certainly, if you are treated in a way that you believe to be unfair you will not want to work for that company again. In my experience, though, there are little things companies do every day that can alienate secret shoppers. There are lots of other companies out there. Annoy me, and I will be gone in no time.
Here is my personal list of a few things mystery shopping companies can do to cause professional mystery shoppers to look elsewhere for work.
Require that I use a certain web browser. I use Firefox as my default browser. When I click on a link in a job announcement email, Firefox opens. If the mystery shopping company site says I have to use Internet Explorer to access the site, I am more likely to just disappear than I am to open IE and paste in the link. Get your programmers to design a site that works, not one that works only in certain browsers.
Send emails with misleading subject lines. The email subject line says, “$20 Bonus!!!,” but when I read the email it turns out that the total pay is $20. Meaning, the shop usually pays $15, but we have a $5 bonus on this one, so it pays $20. If you misrepresent the pay, what else are you misrepresenting?
Make me pass a “certification” test before I can apply to–possibly–do a $5 convenience store shop. Some companies require that shoppers pass a test showing that they understand the client’s shop guidelines before they can apply for a shop. I understand the need for that, as many shoppers are unwilling or unable to read and follow the shop guidelines. However, if you ask me to take a test before I know where the shop locations are or how much they pay, forget it. I have better things to do with my time. And how about waiving the testing requirement for MSPA Gold Certified shoppers?
How about you? What are seemingly “little” things that will cause you to look elsewhere for mystery shopper jobs?