Mystery shopping, aka secret shopping, is a division of market research. Market research seeks to gather information about markets, defined as the playing field for business and customers, in other words, buyers and sellers.
Market research, and within that, mystery shopping, is a great business strategy. It is how businesses thrive, and how they can get advantage over the competition. Obtaining a customer's opinion is very valuable, and you may have heard of 'focus groups', which is yet another form of market research.
Interestingly, mystery shopping first began as a loss-prevention program, where shoppers were hired to try and steal things from a company. Nowadays, technology does that. Mystery shopping then evolved into a customer-service evaluation program.
Jobs for Mystery Shoppers will have you evaluate such things as what information the staff provided you, how helpful they were, and the cleanliness of the store. You will also need to provide details such as what the employees looked like, what time you entered and exited the shop, and how many customers were present.
The reports provided to companies that seek out mystery shopping services allow them to monitor staff compliance, store operations, and customer service. When a staff has done a good job, based on the merits of a mystery shopping report, they are recognized with bonuses, rewards, and other incentives.
Mystery shopping helps a business build stronger customer service relations, employee satisfaction, and improved productivity in the workforce. It is less about trying to get a staff member fired, and more to do with gaining an upper-hand from their competition.
So how do you get these jobs as a Mystery Shopper then? You will want to get set up with a mystery shopping company, or a mystery shopping agency (deals with multiple mystery shopping companies).
There is no point contacting a store, such as a retail or grocery store, to ask for jobs for Mystery Shoppers. They do not hire Mystery Shoppers directly. And they do NOT want to know who potential Mystery Shoppers will be, as this would defeat the whole purpose of the mystery shop.
Instead, a mystery shopping company or agency will deal with the businesses instead. They work as the middle-man between the companies who need mystery shopping services, and you, the shoppers. Think of a mystery shopping company or agency helping a business outsource a little of their human resources department.
All companies do their own form of market research, as they all need to stay ahead of their competition. Actually, if a company does not analyze their market, they are at great risk of shutting down shop. As long as businesses exist, market research will prevail. This means there are tons of Mystery Shopper positions just waiting for you to get a hold of.
There are great reasons to be a Mystery Shopper, including earning extra income, working for yourself, working from home, making your own schedule, and a flexible availability.
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Welcome to my blog on the information and advice you need to know to get started as a Secret Shopper! I love this work and would like to share my experience with you. :)