Have you ever imagined yourself going undercover, like one of those TV reporters with a hidden camera? That is very much what it is like when you do a video mystery shop.
Standard mystery shopping involves visiting a store, restaurant, bank, apartment complex or other business posing as a customer. Mystery shoppers do the things other customers do: we ask questions, make purchases and returns, etc. But we are also making observations about service, quality and cleanliness. Afterward, we submit reports describing what we observed.
During a video mystery shop you will do many of the same types of things you do in a regular mystery shop. You will ask questions of employees, engage them in conversations and record their responses. You may also be asked to record images of the sales floor and service areas.
An advantage of video over written reports is that the client can see exactly what happened, and not have to rely on the written impressions of the mystery shopper. The employee who was shopped can view the tape and see exactly how s/he comes across to customers.
The video equipment is easily hidden. The camcorder and battery pack are usually worn on a belt or carried in a purse. The camera itself it so small that it can be hidden in a button or a piece of jewelry.
Shoppers hired to do video shopping often have experience in mystery shopping or using video equipment. New mystery shoppers should get experience in standard mystery shopping before attempting a video shop. If you are asked to do a video mystery shop, you will be taught how to use the equipment and conduct the shop.
You may be asked to do some sample or test shops to get used to using the equipment. According to the companies that do video shopping, the best way to learn is to do a shop then view the tape you made. You can immediately see your results that way. Test shops allow you to learn without the pressures of a real shop.
The mystery shopping company will provide the video equipment for you. You may pick it up from a local location or it will be shipped to you.
Video mystery shoppers often receive higher fees than mystery shoppers doing a standard written report. Fees start at about $30 and can go up to $150 or more.