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I would just like to write a review on Mystery Shopping, having been on both the receiving end whilst working in a shop and the giving end (or whatsoever else the term for it is!) for a major shopping chain which I shall not name during the course of this review.
What is Mystery Shopping?
Well, as the name would suggest in a roundabout way it is somebody who works for a company (either directly or indirectly as we shall soon see) and goes and pays visits to their various stores or outlets to check up on a number of different areas that include some of the following:
1. Staff attitude/ knowledge/ etc.
2. Queues and/ or waiting times.
3. Presentation of the shop.
Who can become a Mystery Shopper?
How can I get to become one?
Well, there are two ways in which this can be done (and I have done it both ways). There may well be other ways to do it, but I have to apologise now as I do not know of any other way!
The first is when I actually worked for a retail company on the shop floor, this particular company had various stores in different locations around the area. Some of us from different stores were asked if we wanted to become 'internal mystery shoppers', and visit other shops to judge their standards - this is what I meant by the above comment, when I said about directly being employed by a company to do this work.
The other way I did it was through having a store card (for a different shop to the one that I worked for), and got an invite to become one of their mystery shoppers - so in effect, I was indrectly employed by the company as although it was done for them and in a way by them it was actually in fact conducted on their behalf by an external company. In order to join up, I had to go on to the website that they gave me; fill in my details, and then wait for 48 hours for it to be verified then they would e-mail will a list of shops that were in my area that I could conduct a visit on. Now, as the store in which I had a card from was a part of a much larger chain and group of shops I had a whole host of ones to choose from.
Of course when completing the visit, you are nto allowed to take anything that would give you away such as a clipboard for writing things down on! What I used to do in order to remember things was to make out I was sending a text message (which in effect I was), but either save it to one of my files or re-send it back to myself again! Nobody is going to question you sending a text message, but some people (as in customers) may give you dirty looks if you keep on waking in to them!
Once I had completed the visit, I then had to go home and and write a report after having been given a set format in which to do it and then submit it to the company for further examination. The findings of my report were then fed back to the shop in question for them to work on, although my identity was never revealed in case I had to do a repeat visit!
What incentive is there to do this?
Well, I got a small renumeration for each visit I made in order to compensate for them having taken up my time in order to help them improve their services. If you completed a certain number of visits, then you were also given a small bonus by way of high street shopping vouchers (normally around £50).
I enjoyed doing this, and would do it again like a shot. I do believe that there are websites on the Internet that you can visit in order to join up and do this sort of thing as well, so if this grabs your fancy then I would seriously suggest that you look in to it.