What type of Mystery Shopper are you?
You may think a mystery shopper is a mystery shopper is a mystery shopper.
But in reality, there are many types of mystery shoppers. Not every mystery shopper can do all types of shops.
There are shops based on specific age and gender. A 70-year-old obviously cannot act as the mother of a 4-year-old. A grandmother, perhaps, but many clients do not want that scenario used.
And then there are specific shops where the client is looking to see how their staff treats a certain demographic or gender group. Mystery shopping providers must assign the appropriate person. The shopper may not even know it is demographic sensitive, but will just write up the report based on their experience.
Then there are shops that ‘anyone’ can do, but once you read the details you will determine if the shop is a fit for your personality type – or if it is a shop you would never, ever consider.
Integrity shops – These are shops where you are ‘testing’ an employee to see if they deliver the right change or if the representative can be coerced into giving you more than you are paying for. It takes a certain personality to be able to act this out or be willing to be witness to such acts.
Very Specific Scenario shops – These shops are for the actors and actresses of the mystery shopping world. Would you be willing to go to a funeral home or cemetery to discuss arrangements for a (pretend) close relative or friend who had just passed? Or walk into a store and demand to see the manager about a (phony) damaged order? For some people, this is not stressful at all; but for others it would be nearly impossible to pull this off.
Reveal shops – Reveal shops can be fun if you like to award people recognition – but sometimes you need to deliver ‘bad’ news when conducting a reveal shop. For this type of shop, you act as a normal customer and make observations during your visit. At the end, you approach the manager or sales person and reveal to them that you are a mystery shopper. The mystery shopping company will provide you with ID and some form of notification to the employee. You either present them with a certificate of accomplishment or a ‘report card’ of what wasn’t right. Some shoppers are not comfortable in revealing their identity and presenting others with bad news.
When reading assignment solicitations in emails or on job boards, be sure to read the details of what you must do. If these are not stated in the pre-qualifying communications, and you are assigned, let the scheduler know you are not comfortable acting out that scenario.
Not every shop is for everyone. Be sure you are doing work that will be best for you.
Have you ever done any of these types of shops? Tell us about your experience – we can all learn from one another!