Mystery Shopper 007
Living a Double Life as a Mystery Shopper
As a mystery shopper you are kind of like a spy. Just as James Bond gets briefed on his next top-secret assignment at some high-tech cave complex beneath a tropical island, you the mystery shopper are briefed in advance over the telephone or emailed at your own secret location – your home. While James Bond gets shot at, you get free mugs of beer placed in your hand, steak put on your plate, and you have to deal with several more hazards that come with the job – like dodging golf balls while teeing off on an 18 -hole golf course. That's because your job as a mystery shopper is to shop. That's the best part about being a mystery shopper – companies will pay you to buy their products and services. Imagine getting a back massage as part of your job. Sounds like tough work does not it?
Attentive companies are hiring mystery shoppers to get an impartial consumer evaluation on the quality of their customer service. Customer service is arguably the most important factor contributing to a company's continued success. Every business has customers and if these customers are not satisfied they can easily take their money somewhere else. There are several ways a company can screw up when it comes to customer service. A mystery shopper can inform a company about current business practices that might need adjustment or about employees which attributes need an even larger adjustment. Companies use this feedback to improve the overall customer experience.
If you would like to mystery shop you have to be prepared to write a small evaluation report or complete a survey that grades the level of customer service you received from your client companies. In regards to that, you better have a decent memory and pay good attention to detail. You're probably not going to be allowed on the job with a laptop or a giant note pad and pencil. You will have to leave your, "I'm a Paid Mystery Shopper" t-shirt at home as well. Remember, as a mystery shopper, you are going in undercover.
You have several ways to get assignments:
1. Free lists of companies that hire mystery shoppers:
You and everyone's uncle is going to apply for the same limited jobs because everyone else has the list. Good luck getting a call back.
2. Go business to business and offer your services: But be prepared for rejection, an empty gas tank, and sore feet.
3. Sign up with a professional mystery shopping referral company: The jobs come to you. Easily the best way to get assignments.
Mystery shopping is still a developing field but more and more companies are reaping the benefits of improved customer service through mystery shopping programs. Most mystery shoppers do it on the side for fun, free stuff, and supplementary income. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to get out there sign up with as many mystery shopping companies as you can afford. This message will self destruct in five seconds (not really).
Copyright 2005 Jon Castle
This article can be reprinted freely as long as the author bylines are included and it is published in its entity.