RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A True Mystery Shopping Experience of a Newbie Secret Shopper

As a writer on mystery shopping, paid surveys and other forms of incentivized programs, I’ve also had to experience taking surveys and doing paid shops. In order to share my views and recommendations, I’ve had to take a detailed insider’s look. Here’s what I found:

What is Mystery Shopping Truly About?

As a newbie mystery shopper, I was all excited to go to my first shopping location, complete my task, and collect my check. I was dispatched to three local gas stations. My compensation was reimbursement of my gas fills, together with a 15-dollar bonus per each completed assignment.

I had received detailed instructions how to pretend that I’m a regular customer – to behave naturally and logically without raising suspicion as to the purpose of my visit. I also had to take my digital camera along, and take pictures of whatever I found disturbing or contradictory to what was expected.

Mystery Shopping – Be Prepared to Grasp the Unexpected

Once at the first gas station, I proceeded to the counter to pay for the oil fill. Then, I noticed a reasonably large wet spot on the floor, probably a water spill that definitely appeared threatening to someone’s health. I immediately went to browse the chocolate bars, while actually timing how long it would take the staff to notice and wipe off the water spot. Reporting such situations in the mystery shopping report turned extremely valuable. Even though such situations cannot be predicted or included in the mystery shopping instructions, they provide very good insights to the true quality of customer services, the responsiveness of the staff, and its ability to manage crises.

How Secret Shoppers Conceal Who They Really Are

To tell you the truth, it was harder than I expected, but was a very thrilling and rewarding experience. I think I haven’t felt like that since my drama classes at high school and then at the college. The mystery shopping instructions are very helpful at the beginning, because they help you learn the basics of doing your mystery shop in the proper way. Once you master the main points and try to pose as a secret customer, everything becomes more easy and fluent. It won’t be a good idea to blush excessively, to look very surprised or to go around with your camera taking photos everywhere in a way that might be disturbing not only to the staff, but to the other customers too. And also, you have to remember that the purpose of mystery shopping is not to punish employees, but rather to show staff its weak points and show it the areas for improvement.

Mystery Shopping – a Serious Job Done in a Fun Way

Mystery shopping jobs for me was a truly amusing experience, because I was both playing a character and doing a serious job. Businesses rely on the mystery shopping feedback – that’s the reason why they are willing to hire mystery shoppers and pay them for shopping their premises. Providing reliable, exhaustive and specific feedback is crucial to make it possible for the management to formulate the right staff policies to improve both customer service and employee satisfaction.

No comments: