The world of a secret shopper is an ideal world for most who truly enjoys shopping. Secret shoppers not only get to do things that they love most, they also get paid. Secret shoppers are people that are hired to do just that, “shop”. They also have another function that most shoppers can only dream of. They are the complaints section, the suggestion boxes and the potpourri department rolled into one, that really gets the action done fast, well in a manner of speaking.
Business competition and the consequent desire of people running customer oriented businesses to get their enterprises into very competitive shapes, and the need of the companies to get an independent viewpoint other than the regular employees report, spurred the creation of the secret/mystery shopper.
Secret shoppers are normally assigned three basic tasks:
1. To observe - the mystery shopper enters an assigned store/establishment and follows a list that are usually predetermined, for example;
Courtesy and integrity of employees
Order and cleanliness
Telephone and phone-ins handling
Performance of duties and competencies.
Other points for observance that employers categorize as priorities to improve the over-all standing of their individual firms.
2. To evaluate – The mystery shopper then fills out a form on which evaluations from observations are noted.
3. To file a report – Reports coming from the secret shoppers are then collated for management evaluation aimed to further improve the firm or stores competitiveness in the market.
Other than the report being an evaluation of the business from a customers point of view, it also serves as the managements tool at validating and cross-referencing report coming from its direct employees.
For this service the secret shopper is usually paid anywhere from $7 to $15. The pay may not be very attractive for starters but as in any job, secret shoppers gets better paid as they become good at it. The normal pay today is about $1000 for 75 businesses that are checked in a month.
The competition is also stiff for secret shoppers. Presently, there are more than 200,000 mystery shoppers employed by about 750 companies. Because of this, people interested in being paid for shopping will take good advice at having their application sheets well filled up to the detail. Watch out for grammatical and spelling errors and do not leaving blank spots in the application form as this can diminish the chances of landing assignments. Employers also value short and detailed information without the reporter being critical. When assignments are given, short, concise, detailed and on-time submission of the reports can greatly increase chances at having more assignments. The secret shopper may even get to pick their assignments of choice.
Even as many prospective applicants can find this job interesting, about 70% fail to land more assignments often due to lack of informative details, incomplete reports and failure to file the reports on time.
One condition though is that a mystery shopper signs a confidentiality clause. That is the shopper cannot reveal the job or disclose particulars of the assignments other than those specified by the employer.
However you look at it, being a secret shopper is not a bad idea for people who will go on shopping anyway, as shoppers go on shopping whether paid or not.
Joseph Then operates a Mystery Shopper website that provides excellent resources in Mystery Shopping. Check out this website at http://www.MysteryShopperResource.com