Job Description and Career Oppurtunities of a Mystery Shopper

By Omar. S
In Career
Aug 19th, 2011
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Becoming a Mystery or Secret Shopper

Mystery Shopper Job Description

Traditionally, mystery shoppers visit or call businesses, posing as ordinary customers, and provide detailed evaluations of their experience in the form of written reports or questionnaires.

Mystery shopping is used in a wide variety of business sectors such as retail, restaurants, financial institutions, convenience stores and gas stations, service providers, manufacturers, department stores, travel and entertainment, etc.

The mystery shopper job description is essential to the world of marketing because the data collected in the course of mystery shopper duties is indispensable to marketing decision-making.

Mystery Shopper Job Responsibilities & Requirements

Typically, mystery shopping jobs require that you keep your identity undercover, and that is what makes you a “mystery” shopper. Obviously, if employees of the store knew that you were there to analyze them, they would be on their best behavior and be performing ad-hoc, instead of performing like they usually do in their normal day-to-day routine.

Working According to the Scenario Provided by the Company

Most companies that hire you will provide a scenario for you to use when posing as a customer. For example, if you went to a grocery store, you could potentially be told to tell the employee, that you were looking for a dairy product that suited a very narrow bracket of weight-conscious people.

Working on Detailed or Your Own Scenarios

Some scenarios are very detailed, others lack depth, and in some instances, you actually need to come up with a scenario yourself. One of the challenges is that mystery shoppers are usually given a window of time to complete the job. Some jobs will give a week to complete, while others are more rushed and need to be completed within a day or two.

Formulating the Questionnaire

Back in the days, mystery shopping was not an easy kill, because after hectic shopping, the mystery shopper also had to fill out long questionnaires in writing. Now, that is a lot easier. The questionnaires require you to document your experience and satisfaction levels ranging from customer service to the quality of the product. Now, the questionnaires can be filled out online, as marketing companies evolve their business models.

Submitting Your Findings

After completing an assignment you are usually required to fill out an online questionnaire within a set timeframe, which on the average is usually between 8 – 24 hours of job completion. Since you cannot take the questionnaire or notes in-store, since it would alert employees, the best thing to do is to enter your results onto the system as soon as you can while the details are still fresh in your mind.

Some questionnaires are longer than others but should take no longer than fifteen minutes to complete. Based on the type of work that one has to do, no qualification is typically required, except for a sharp mind with the ability to capture details. Consider it a “corporate intelligence operation.”

How to Become a Mystery Shopper?

The first step is to register with an accredited and registered marketing agency. Once accepted, applicants are typically given an assessor number that must be quoted in order to enter the shopper page on an agent’s website, or quote via e-mail or telephone.

All agencies have a system of distributing assignments, but most of them offer jobs via their website. Assignments are on an ad-hoc basis, and although agencies usually do notify by e-mail when jobs become available, it is strongly advisable to check in on a regular basis to ensure that you don’t miss out the best assignments.

What Does the Job Vacancy of a Mystery Shopper Pay?

Why a mystery shopper resume is typically an outline of hardship, is because initially, the pay-outs are not that much. For eg. you might earn $5 per assignment, or $7-8 on “lucrative ones.” But, as you develop yourself more and the word spreads around, companies start contacting you themselves regarding products or shops they need to be surveyed. So, never lose hope and keep earning till the money starts rolling in by itself!

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