Jason Davis of Video Eyes gives the inside story on video mystery shopping in this interview.
What do you see as the future direction of mystery shopping?
The future direction of mystery shopping is in the use of video. Equipped with a hidden camera and microphone, shoppers concentrate on their role-play scripts, not remembering 80 questions from the form or what happened during the shop.
This allows for real time documentation of the customer and staff interaction. With everything being recorded, video shops become a valuable learning tool for staff, as the results are irrefutable.
Independent contractor’s fees for video shops are higher then written, so are the client’s expectations. Usage of the equipment requires certification, instructions, and practice.
Do you have your own testing/certification in place (general or client-specific)? Do you recognize any other certifications?
After viewing our educational video, Video Eyes requires the video scout pass a twenty-question certification test. Understanding our equipment and its capabilities ensures the shopper a higher rate of success. We welcome MSPA Gold Certified shoppers, as it validates their commitment to the industry.
What is the best way for a new shopper to get in the door and get a first assignment?
First step is to apply. Video Eyes confirms the applicant can follow basic instructions. Because our shopper education is completed by phone, online or e-mail, it is critical an applicant master adhering to specific direction. One cannot afford to take short cuts because video shops are a make-it or break-it proposition. If the applicant is not successful on the initial round, there is no way they can repeat that shop.
What types of shops does your company do? What types of reports are used?
Video Eyes does a variety of shops, new home and condominium sales, automotive, apartment leasing, and retail. Sometimes some written commentary is required with the video shop.
Is there equipment/technology a mystery shopper must have? (E.g., computer and Internet, fax, digital camera, PDA, cell phone, other) Do you see the requirements changing? (E.g., wireless Internet)
It is essential shoppers have a computer with Internet access and a telephone connection. All other equipment (cameras, decks, power sources, cables, and tapes) is supplied by Video Eyes.
Does your company reimburse expenses?
Video Eyes will reimburse shoppers who travel long distances to do a grouping of shops for us. We reimburse travel expenses such as air, rental cars, hotel stays and meals. We also reimburse those shoppers who choose to use their own vehicles to travel more than 30 miles from their residences.
Video Eyes is a division of Bare Associates International. Watch for an upcoming post on working with Bare Associates.