When I first started mystery shopping I felt certain I was made by clerks as a shopper. I started looking at things differently and was really concerned about being spotted as a shopper. What would I do if they confronted me? I did several shops that required pictures. How do you inconspicuously take pictures in a fast food place? Of course, over time my presentation became much smoother and more natural.
I started doing more target shops lately, where you must shop a specific person. Sometimes these can be tricky and take a lot more time than a standard shop. Then, there are times when you are told to specifically ask for your target and say something like, a friend recommended you. When they ask for your friend’s name and you tell them, then you have to state your friend’s boyfriend gave her the name and you don’t know his name. Now, that is a feasible story, but I have gotten some weird looks when stating such things.
Sometimes you make phone calls and try to get a specific person. This is tricky. If it is not who you were supposed to talk to, you get a little tired of asking how late the office is open, hanging up, or stating you have the wrong number. It makes me feel as if they may catch on with five calls in a day that it is the same voice over and over again.
Rest assured, most of the time the amount of traffic at the location you are shopping is so high they will not know you are a shopper. And, just the fact that you are approaching the matter from a shopper’s perspective makes you over analyze things and make great strides to not be detected. No matter what happens always stay in character and keep your story the same. Sometimes you might need to embellish a bit, but keep it as simple as possible if you can. And know that many companies know they are shopped on a regular basis. There are times when an employee may be able to determine you are a shopper, but for the most part it will be business as usual.