In order to be a good mystery shopper you need to do certain things while at the same time avoid others. Following is a checklist of dos and don'ts of mystery shopping:
Things to do
– Read and do you research well. Learn the facts and figures of mystery shopping business.
– Inquire about the returns that you would be getting, the date of shop and whether or not there would be any out of pocket expenses.
– Get registered with a mystery shopping company of good repute that trains shoppers and is popular among other shoppers and clients.
– Always give prior notice to the mystery shopping company in case of crisis so that the company can find a suitable replacement. Crisis here means a situation when you are unable to complete the shop due to some reason.
– Check the instructions that would be provided to you by the shopping company. Understand them well and then follow them to perform exactly the way the company wants you to.
– While filling the report be precise in your answers. Answer the question to the point. Read it well, to discard all the mistakes, before submitting.
– Give your opinion only when you are asked to, otherwise just report the real events and facts.
– Always visit the store, in the rush hour, for your scrutiny. When the store is not filled with customers it is likely that the salesmen would have sufficient time to present themselves perfectly and would be polite. They would reveal their true self only when they have too many customers to attend to. It would be better to carry out the survey during both these hours for best results.
– Prepare yourself well according to the different types of customers that visit stores in urban and rural areas. You must know the likes and dislikes of people living in small towns and in big cities, because then accordingly you can put your questions to the salesmen. The judgment would then be appropriate.
– A true mystery shopper should not bring his mood and personality to the store at the time of scrutiny otherwise the findings will get distributed. You should also keep in mind your age while choosing a shop. For example, if you are very old you should never go to the store to buy stuff like surfboard.
– As you would just be pretending to be a shopper you might not know the real needs of a customer. It is advisable to compare your findings with the feed back from the real customer.
– Record all the necessary facts like if there was enough stock of goods and the price of the product. Do not waste time in scrutinizing things like cleanliness and ambiance etc., unless asked.
Things to avoid
– Avoid those companies that boast of making profits and do not train the mystery shoppers.
– Ignore undesirable e-mails claiming to provide jobs that can be accomplished from home itself.
– Never pay money for training and recruitment of mystery shoppers.
– Never take up a job that you think you will not be able to finish. Do not betray your employer.
– Never make silly excuses for unaccomplished tasks. Mystery shopping companies keep in touch with each other. Someone might spill the beans and you may end up not finding a shopper's job at all.
– Never discuss the fees with the employer after accepting the shop. Negotiate it prior to finalizing the deal. It is an unprofessional attitude.
– Never embellish your report in order to impress the clients. Stick to the facts.
– Never carry your forms to the store especially when you have taken up more than one shop. You may make a mess of the reports. Fill them while on your way back or at home.
– Avoid being worn while you are secretly shopping.