5 Tips to Make Sure You Don’t Lead the Call

Mystery shoppers have to be detailed, organized, specific, and have time management just to name a few qualities. But one of the most important things to remember when mystery shopping is to make sure we don’t lead the call.

dont lead the callIt’s easy to prompt the target or lead the call so to speak. Don’t! Not only is it giving an unfair advantage to the employee, but it is also giving the employer a false depiction of their employee’s performance.

Mystery shopping plays a vital role for companies by ensuring that customer service needs are being met from the employee, and that the employee is maintaining professionalism and properly representing the company.

As mystery shoppers, our purpose is pretty clear: shop your target! Here are 5 tips to make sure you don’t lead the call or take over the shop.


This might come as a bit of a surprise, but personality really isn’t important as a mystery shopper. Sure, you need to be friendly and engaging since we aren’t here to be mean to our target; however, it’s important to remember that we also aren’t here to make friends. Let your target do the talking and perform their job and do your best to leave your personality in the car or at the door. This leads to the next point.

Stay on Topic

Before you actually go on your shop you are often given a report so you know what the company is looking for when you are out in the field. Because you are privy to the information that is requested, it could be easy to prompt your target to ensure they are hitting all of their points. Sit back and let them do their job! Go with the flow. Also, if you’re a naturally friendly person it’s probably really easy to genuinely like the person that you are shopping and that’s okay, but remember to stay on task. Allow the leasing agent to go through their process so that your mystery shopper report is an accurate depiction.

mystery shoppers dont lead the callYou Really Are a Customer

Do your best to treat this like a REAL apartment shopping experience. After all, you are a real customer with real expectations.

Reserve Questions

Depending on what type of shop you are completing, questions may or may not be important. Obviously you want to be natural when asking questions so not to blow your mystery shopper cover, but make sure you reserve the number of questions you ask. We are here to be the eyes and ears for the company that has requested this shop, not the person taking over the lead of the interaction.


Listening will go a long way as a mystery shopper. Not only will it help you be more specific and detailed with your reports, but it will also allow for a more accurate description of the target’s presentation skills. Allow your target to sell you and put their training into play.

It’s important to remember that as mystery shoppers, we need to start our inquiry relatively vaguely. It’s the target’s responsibility to ask specific questions, provide personalized customer service, and represent their apartment community and company positively.


Allison M