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What Does a Mystery Shopper Do?

Working as a mystery shopper isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In fact, our goal is to make things as easy and uncomplicated as we can.

The goal of a mystery shopping agency like ours is to provide our clients with a customer’s-eye-view of how their business operates. Working on the premise that “when the cat is away, the mice will play,” everyone knows that the way a business operates while the manager is around than when he or she is out. And smart business executives want to know that their carefully-honed image, service, and business plan is being run the way they expect it to.

They want smiling faces, friendly greetings, full service, clean facilities, and any other expectations and goals they have set for their entire operation. But they can’t be there to monitor it all the time.

Enter the mystery shopper.

This is the person who visits a particular business, branch, or individual location, looks for a few select items on a checklist, and reports back to the mystery shopping agency. The agency collects all the reports from all the shoppers working on this particular “case,” and presents it to the client.

The client can see what’s working and what’s not in each location. Maybe they expect all their staff to greet customers with a smile, and to say “thank you” at the end of a transaction. At Chick-fil-A, employees are expected to say “My pleasure” whenever a customer says thank you. The mystery shopper will keep track of that and note whether the company associate did what they were supposed to.

OYou never know where your role as a mystery shopper could take you. This is a young woman standing at a coffee shop counter.r maybe the bathrooms have to be cleaned every hour, and need to look presentable anytime a member of the public walks in. The mystery shopper will visit the bathroom during the visit and report on its condition.

The mystery shopper is usually expected to buy a particular service — buy a chicken sandwich; get their oil changed; test drive a car; visit a senior living facility; take a phone in for repairs — and they’ll be reimbursed, plus they’ll be paid.

After they buy the service, the mystery shopper will then fill out a report, answer all questions, and write up a brief statement about their visit, and sent it all back. The information may be uploaded on a website, it could be filled out on a mobile app, or it could even be that the shopper had to shoot a video on their mobile phone and then upload it to the mystery shopping agency.

(This means you have to be somewhat tech savvy. If you’re not, be sure to practice, PRACTICE, PRACTICE with your technology before you go on your first shop. You don’t get paid if you can’t deliver the information the client needs.)

A mystery shopper is basically the eyes and the ears of company management, looking for all the problems, challenges, and even the successes of the company associates. They help the company find opportunities for improvement and training, so they can better serve their customers, keep more of them happy, and keep them returning.

If you would like to be a mystery shopper, you can sign up to join the Measure CP team by visiting our special application page. We hope to work with you soon!

Photo credit: (Creative Commons 0, Public Domain)