Many people consider mystery shopping as one of their dream jobs. Who wouldn’t? It’s fun to get paid while doing something that you love.
Market research companies regularly hire secret shoppers to check how their client’s business is performing in terms of customer service.
Mystery shopping measures the consumer’s experience against the set standards of the company and evaluates if the business is delivering quality goods and optimum performance in service.
Being a mystery shopper is more than just going inside a store, buying a merchandise and reporting back how it went. Secret shoppers are like movie actors who need to memorize a script and follow a set of instructions while inside the establishment.
Aside from purchasing an item, they can also be tasked to go inside a store and complain about a service, inquire about a specific product, or simply observe the flow of business, among other things. A mystery shopper must have a good memory, is a keen observer and have satisfactory acting talents.
To give you a better picture of the several things that a mystery shopper does, here are some of my own personal experiences on three assignments:
Mystery Shopping as a Drive Thru Customer in a Fast Food Restaurant
I was tasked to evaluate the drive thru system of a famous fast food restaurant. Three branches were assigned to me which I was able to visit in two days.
Some of the things that I needed to do were to observe and take note of the cleanliness of the drive thru area, the efficiency and politeness of the staff, the waiting time in the car queue and the quality of the food they served me. Overall, this was an easy assignment.
Mystery Shopping as a New Depositor in a Commercial Bank
I was tasked to open an ATM account in a commercial bank. I’m supposed to pretend that it’s my first time to open a savings account and had a script of questions which I needed to ask them.
I am required to remember and report back the answers which the bank representative gave me and likewise note the time it took for them to complete and process my application. This was again an easy task, the only thing I didn’t like is that I had to wait for a month before I can close the account so I can get my money back without incurring penalty for early closure.
Mystery Shopping as an Interested Buyer in a Car Dealer Shop
I was tasked to inquire and pretend that I’m interested in buying a car from a dealer. I had to ask the salesman several questions and likewise report back his answers. I also needed to take note of how the payment options was presented and explained to me.
This assignment was difficult for me because I had little knowledge about cars and the assignment required me to carry a natural conversation with the dealer about motor and engine performance specifications.
If you think that you can do this type of freelance work, then your first task is to find a legitimate company where you can get your assignments. There are many promoters out there who shamelessly scam consumers into becoming a mystery shopper, so beware. The first thing that you need to know is that applying as a mystery shopper DOES NOT cost anything. You will not be required to pay a sign-up fee. You don’t need to enroll and purchase information for a certification program.
Simply put, you do not have to give them money for any reason. Moreover, fraudulent mystery shopping promoters often use anonymous newspaper ads and unsolicited emails to get victims. Do your homework and do a background check. Visit their office if possible. It will also be helpful if you can check with your local business directories to make sure that the promoter is listed or registered.
To help you get started, here are some websites and directories of legitimate mystery shopping companies. Source: Mystery Shopper Jobs Information Online
National Shopping Service (NSS)
Website at: http://www.nationalshoppingservice.com
Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA)
Website at: http://www.mysteryshop.org
Shop’n Check Worldwide Inc. (SCWI)
Website at: http://www.shopnchek.com
Frontline Focus International
Website at: http://www.frontlinefocus.com/
To my fellow Pinoys, just to inform you, John Clements Consultants, Inc is the local licensee of SCWI. This is where I get my assignments from back then.
Also, Frontline Focus has a Philippine office in San Pedro, Laguna. Go to their website to get their contact details.
The payment is reasonable and you will be assigned to establishments near your locality. Furthermore, they understand that this is a part-time job so you will not obligated to conduct every assignment that will be presented to you. You will have the option to refuse a project if it will create conflicts in your schedule.
Good luck and happy shopping!
I am no longer doing mystery shopping, and the information above may not be up to date. Please practice due diligence in doing transactions with them. I shall do my best to update this post as soon as I can. Thank you for understanding.
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