What is a Mystery shopper? Mystery shoppers are people hired to shop, and evaluate various aspects of the store they are shopping in. They might also be hired to check out the food and service at a restaurant or other service based business. An essential part of their job is to appear just like a regular customer. After they leave, they write a report or answer questions about their experience.
Why does a company hire a mystery shopper in the first place? It might seem odd to some people that a company would hire someone to go shopping in their store, but it can be an essential resource in finding out how the customer service is, how friendly and knowledgeable the employees are and how neat and tidy the store is. You may even be asked to shop at competing stores and report on prices so that the company has an idea of whether it’s competing within an acceptable range. Mystery shoppers are hired by a business in order to provide a completely objective view of the business they are visiting. Their whole purpose is to answer quality, quantity and customer service related questions and provide valuable information to businesses because they report their observations objectively.
In many ways, a mystery shopper provides a set of eyes and ears for a business owner who may have too many locations to look over personally. They rely on the shopper to tell them that their locations are up to standards, as well as observing whether the employees are following the codes of conduct and appearance that the company has set down for them.
The business owners can then use what the mystery shopper reports to evaluate company practices, management, employee conduct, and the condition of the store in general. In fact, many companies make use of mystery shoppers as one of the evaluation tools for employee yearly performance reviews, bonus pay for managers or promotions. Another aspect of mystery shopping is to allow for inner company comparisons between stores and can be used to more accurately gauge the effects of changes in policies or conditions over a specified period of time. Another added benefit is that all aspects of a store from employees to managers, from the security and safety regulations down to the cleanliness of the restrooms are affected when they know that the company employs mystery shoppers to help them evaluate the over all performance of the location. With regard to a business like a restaurant, a mystery shopper might gauge the quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff, how quickly they were served, did the waiters offer him or her the special, offer desert, etc. There are many aspects to being a mystery shopper and being one can be a fun and definitely rewarding and benefit filled job. You get to eat at nice places, usually reimbursed on top of your fee, as well as getting to keep the things you purchase.