When conducting mystery shops, most times you are instructed to act natural, do what you would do when you normally shop, or just “be the customer.” The thought process here is that you will see and react to things as a normal customer would.
However, your role as mystery shopper is much more than just being a customer.
Our President and CEO, Angela Megasko, promotes herself as the “Jane Bond” of the market research community.
Thinking of yourself as a secret agent when you are out on a mystery shopping assignment is a wonderful role to embrace, as long as you understand the rules of the game.
Certainly as a mystery shopper, you are not entering a store, bank or restaurant seeking out the enemy. The purpose is to understand and report on the customer experience during a visit to this establishment.
You enter looking like a typical customer, but are using your internal magnifying glass to look closely at the actions, reactions, products and services offered to you. It is important to understand your purpose and to have read the form and instructions beforehand in order to know which areas or people you need to pay extra special attention. This is where you use your dual mode of “customer” and “detective” in order to best complete your shop.
Have fun with this! It’s important to note everything possible to bring back to the client the most detailed view of your experience. Think of what you would want to know if you were the owner/manager of the establishment.
So as you prepare for a shop, be sure to walk through the scenario, noting where you need to pull out that magnifier and where you need to ask typical customer questions, and pull both roles together in order to present your experience and observations to our client.
And when it’s all done, the Oscar goes to…YOU!