4 Ways to Avoid a Bad Mystery Shop

It has happened (or can happen) to the best of us. Things don’t go as planned on one of our mystery shop contracts. We certainly did not intend for anything with the shop to go wrong, even though at times it feels like the mystery shopping company believes we did.shutterstock_54591100cropped

In order to avoid a bad shop (i.e. a shop that you won’t get paid for), it’s important that you have all of your ducks in a row before you begin.

Here are some helpful tips that you should remember before diving in.

4 ways to avoid a bad mystery shop

1.       The first thing you should do before you start is visit the company’s website. You can learn more about the business you’re about to shop, get an idea of what to expect when you contact them, and gain some insight about the owners and what they expect the typical customer experience will be.

2.      If you really want to knock it out of the park, be sure to visit a little site some people like to call Google. You may have heard of it. Just Google the business and the specific location you’re going to mystery shop. You can learn what’s nearby, make sure you actually shop the correct place, and even get some insights on how to fit in as a ‘real’ customer.

3.      Come up with a story and stick to it. If you have to make contact with the business, either by phone or in-person, and have a customer service interaction – the likelihood is you’ll have to come up with questions, a problem you need to report, or a story about what you need to give the salesperson something to work with. Once you come up with the story – be consistent. Forgetting all of a sudden what you said a few minutes back will be suspicious and could cause you to blow your secret shopper cover.

4.      Review the mystery shop report before you start the shop. Read over the report beforehand in detail. Make sure it hasn’t changed since the last time you did the same kind of shop contract. See what details you will need to remember; you’ll want to know that going in. Make sure to take note of any questions the client wants you to ask, too.

Mystery shops are real work, even though they can be a lot of fun. Once you’ve done a good job of preparing, you can approach the situation confidently and be able to avoid a bad mystery shop.

Do you have any other tips to help avoid a bad mystery shop?

-Lindley K