The Purpose Of Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is designed to provide companies with valuable information that they may use to improve their business, service or product. A secret shopper is hired to visit a business location and will be assigned a specific task, which may include questions to ask, complaints to voice, purchases to make and certain business aspects to note.

A mystery shopper must have a keen eye for detail and should notice even the smallest aspect of a business. Mystery shopping can either include making purchases or simply evaluating customer service. For instance, if a customer line is long and the wait time is dreadful, a mystery shopper will need to evaluate the situation and give his/her opinion on how to improve it. Are more employees needed? Is there a store layout that could improve functionality and help to initiate shorter wait times? These are all important questions that a professional mystery shopper should be able to answer.

Because the purpose of mystery shopping is to provide an unbiased opinion on how a company can improve its presence, the mystery shopper will pose as a customer and secretly evaluate all aspects of a location. In acting as a customer, the employees will not realize they are being evaluated and, unlike a planned visit from the head office, the atmosphere will be more relaxed and will provide a natural look at how a business truly operates.

Many companies employ the use of comment cards, which are provided for customers to offer their opinions and insight into a store and how it could be improved. When a professional mystery shopper is hired, he/she will provide the same information from a consumer standpoint, but with a professional flair. Because this approach is invaluable, mystery shopping is commonly used in every industry. Although retail, restaurant, banking and convenience store locations have been at the top of the list as businesses most likely to employ mystery shoppers, it would be difficult to find an industry that does not use secret shopping services.

If you want to know where mystery shopping services could prove to be beneficial, simply look around you. Anywhere there are customers to shop, products to be sold or services to be purchased, a mystery shopper could be invaluable. If a company believes that there is always room for improvement, they are likely to realize the importance of a third party evaluation that offers insight in the form of a written assessment.

The mystery shopping industry not only detects what may need improving, but also can help to recognize valuable services and/or quality. In a world where prompt and effective customer service is often difficult to come by, it is important for a company to know which employees and/or locations are excelling in the way that they handle both the customers and the daily business operations. Mystery shopping can be used as a way of identifying outstanding employees and potentially even rewarding them with incentives to keep up the good work. Overall, mystery shopping is designed to promote improvement when needed and recognition when deserved. The only way to know for sure which category a particular business falls into is to take away the mystery and hire a secret shopper.

How To Find Legitimate Mystery Shopping Jobs

Perhaps the best way to know where to locate legitimate mystery shopping jobs is to first know where not to look. Many professional shoppers agree that newspaper advertisements and/or unsolicited e-mails should be avoided or, at the very least, used only with great caution as many are assumed to be questionable.

The best way to find a legitimate mystery shopping opportunity is through a reputable online company. Many businesses are currently hiring mystery shoppers and, like many, they realize that the best place to advertise is online. Like all work at home opportunities, a legitimate mystery shopping job can often be found through the best form of advertising available to anyone – word of mouth. Whether it’s a referral from a friend or family member or an independent, third-party review from an organization that is offering their opinion on a company and its services, you can often gain valuable insight with the click of a mouse.

Because the internet is full of opportunities, including those relating to mystery shopping, it can often be difficult to find the best company to fit your needs. If you are curious as to a company’s track record, you can always check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online to learn if a business has had any complaints filed within the last 36 months, how many years it has been in existence and whether or not the track record is satisfactory according to the BBB’s standards.

In addition to the aforementioned methods, anyone interested in becoming a mystery shopper should be cautious of a company that promises a job or a specific income. The financial rewards that are received are often representative of the amount of time and effort that you put into a career, which is the case with mystery shopping. The more jobs that you accept and the longer you work, the more money you will earn. Any company that promises you wealth overnight is simply not being realistic and is, consequently, a company that you may not want to do business with.

As a mystery shopper, you will learn to evaluate a business. If you have what it takes to be a candidate for this type of work, then you should also be able to evaluate a company before you sign up to shop for them. Are their statements and advertisements realistic or do they seem too good to be true? Does the company have a positive reputation with others and have they been in business for a significant amount of time? If you are to be a professional shopper, evaluating companies will become a way of life and there’s no better time to begin assessing a business than now. If you choose wisely, you could be trading in your 9 to 5 job for a shopping cart and a ton of perks.