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I have been a Mystery Shopper for 4-5 months now and I enjoy every aspect of it. Its great experience, especially if you want to work within retail or work in retail now as you can pick up a lot of things about customer service, etc.
What is a Mystery Shopper? A company pays you to go into a shop and makes enquiries and possibly a purchase (like any normal customer) and you then have to report back, mostly by web form or sometimes by telephone on the quality of the customer service you received. This company then reports back to the retailer with their findings, etc and they look at this to see how they can improve their customer service and who is not giving good customer service. Companies sales can drop due to a lack of good customer service, this is why companies pay people to pretend to be a customer to ensure the staff are giving out this customer service, which help's sales.
How did I hear about Mystery Shopping? I was looking for a new retail job and on a job search under the job search category I came across Mystery Shopping. I decided to have a look but there were no job vacancies available so I decided to go to Google and type in Mystery Shopper in the search bar. It came up with lots off different mystery shopping companies whom you can apply to become a mystery shopper with.
Why Did I Apply for Mystery Shopping? My job wasn't full time and I was also looking to earn some extra cash. The freebies weren't the most important factor to me. Working in the retail industry for over 5 years and receiving training on Customer Service Care, I know how important it is to customers to receive good customer service. I also know how customer service can affect sales to the business!
What does the job involve? You can accept/apply for any assignments you wish. Most companies will e-mail you, or send you a text when there are new assignments in your chosen area. You can then choose whether you want to accept the assignment or not. Its up to you what assignments you accept! You will get sent a brief and a questionnaire about the assignment, such as what time and date it has to be carried out on. The brief will tell you what to purchase (if necessary) and what questions/products you will need to ask/enquire about. For this job you need a good memory and you must be reliable, honest and work professionally. You must never reveal to anyone that you are a Mystery Shopper, you must act like any other normal customer. You normally have to submit your answers within 6-8hrs of the shop/restaurant visit!
What assignments could I get & how much do I get for them? I've been signed up as a mystery shopper for 2-3months and I have carried out assignments within clothing retailers, fast food & night-clubs. Prices can vary for each assignment, you can receive as little as £5.00 or anything up to £12.00! If you have to make a purchase for your assignment, they will reimburse the cost of the item or they will send you something so you can send them the item with the receipt. You may also get the chance to stay at hotels! My last assignment I got paid £12.00, you may think that doesn't sound a lot but I'm on about £5.00 an hour at my other job. To do this mystery shop assignment took me about 15-20mins, so I earned £12.00 in 15-20mins where normally in my retail job it would take me about 2hrs to earn that!
How many assignments will I get? This varies. Some assignments require people from a specific age group or maybe even someone with a family. This isn't full time work. Some companies you can look on their website and search and accept any assignments when you wish and when you please, but its on a first come, first serve basis, so you have to get in there quickly! I check websites every 2 days for any new assignments!
Do I need any qualifications to apply? You don't need any qualifications, it's a job virtually anyone can do, how-ever some companies require you to take a test before you are accepted as a Mystery Shopper.
Overall Impression Don't choose to this job just for freebies, it doesn't work like that! Yes, so you may get a free night out at a club or restaurant, but whilst you are on an assignment as a Mystery Shopper you need to remember everything so this means no drinking (if you have to purchase an alcoholic drink it will state how many, which is normally just 1), as alcohol can effect the memory as you all probably know and have experienced! This is a great job to earn some extra cash. I enjoy doing this job very much, whether its eating at KFC or purchasing a jacket potato I enjoy every aspect of it. I'm currently signed up with about 3-4 different mystery shopping companies to help me get more work. Retail Maxim is a good company as they ring/text you when they have new assignments in your designated area. Gap Buster is also another good company as you can log onto their website and look for assignments and choose whether you want to accept them or not.