If you are a mystery shopper or looking to become one, you might find the below frequently asked questions helpful.
The information and feedback within Mystery Shopping reports (and any relevant supporting evidence such as documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video footage) is used by organisations to help them better understand the customer experience and monitor their performance.
Information provided in the report is objective and balanced highly accurate and often very detailed.
The information is used to help the organisation to see where it needs to improve, for example through staff training, or through better systems and processes.
Mystery Shoppers are paid for each assignment that they complete. Different assignments have different rates of pay and these rates broadly reflect the amount of time that should need to be spent to complete the assignment, and / or the level of challenge or difficulty involved.
Our rates of pay are far above average and among the highest in the country. Fees for B2C assignments range from around £10 to £100 per assignment (comprised of cash and/ or goods to that value – depending on the particular assignment). Some assignment are rewarded only through benefits (such as the use of accommodation and / or facilities) and in these cases the value of such a benefit can amount to several hundred pounds for a single assignment.
It is possible for Mystery Shopping is to produce a full time income for an individual in the UK. This is most likely to be achieved for Video Mystery Shoppers, and in any case is likely to require a high levels of efficiency and organisation. The availability of assignments from any one company in any one geographic area be changeable, so a full time income through Mystery Shopping is most often achieved by those who register and work with more than one company.
There are no mandatory formal qualifications required. However there are specific attributes that are essential, and that are not very common.
For report-based Mystery Shopping, Mystery Shoppers need to be highly literate (in the English language, if working in the UK).
Shoppers must also have all of these attributes:
- Reliability, honesty and diligence (always completing any assignment you accept and doing so on time and to the highest standard possible).
- Organisational skills and punctuality. You must be able to plan ahead, make commitments and be able to keep them.
- Presence of mind, clarity of thought and concentration.
- Self-confidence in every day face-to-face dealings with people.
- Ability to keep a cool head and remain focused, objective and professional even when under pressure.
- Attention to detail.
- A very good memory – for detail.
- Basic computer literacy.
- Access to a computer or tablet and regular internet access.
Indeed, Mystery Shopping is something that’s appropriate for people of all ages (18 and over) and backgrounds, but it is really only suitable for those who possess the attributes above in abundance.
Assignment vary hugely in terms of what is involved. Some involve going to a physical location, and some don’t. They could involve enquiring about a range of different goods or services and sometimes may involve actually making a purchase.
As a rule of thumb in most cases, you will “act” like a normal customer, ask questions to staff, and discuss relevant goods or services. In some cases, the assignment will require you to act out a very specific scenario (e.g. ask a particular question or present a particular problem).
Each assignment will present a new challenge, and this can be both exciting and rewarding (and often slightly nerve-wracking).
As the “shopper”, you need to remember, and act upon, the precise instructions you’re provided with, and yet make sure that you’re not revealed as a Mystery Shopper. This can be quite a challenge! – especially when you start out.. but it quickly gets easier with practice.
Aside from the ability to earn fees and the flexibility of working for yourself, Mystery Shopping can be stimulating, rewarding and exciting. If you are a diligent, organised person who’s passionate about good service, this is a way for you to help improve standards in businesses. It can provide a real sense of satisfaction, both when you spot things that are being done well (so you are going to help someone to be recognised), and when you know you’ve identified something that a business manager or owner is probably going to want fixed.
It is also surprisingly mentally challenging, in terms of observation skills, memory, and the ability to multi-task, and it also helps you to develop (or tune up) your commercial awareness. The more open you are to new and different assignments, the more you’ll have chances to learn about different types of businesses.
Really, the answer here is.. the flip side of the best things about Mystery Shopping. There can be a lot to remember, and the requirements for how each visit is carried out can be quite specific – but instructions must be strictly adhered to.
Also, where reports need to be completed after an enquiry these must be completed fully, clearly and accurately, without mistakes, and without inconsistencies. This can take significant amounts of time and requires real concentration and attention to detail.
It is essential that clients are not let down in terms of speed of delivery or the standard of reports.
Mystery Shopping (with Customerwise) is an activity that’s only suitable for those who are fixated on quality and accuracy.
No. You will not be required to spend your money on goods that you don’t want, unless with specific assignments this is reflected in an allowance for reimbursement of your expenses, or a suitable amount being added to your fee.
Every assignment is different, with different compensation as well as instructions. You’re able to see the details of each job (and ask any questions if you need to) before you choose which you accept and which you don’t.
In some cases you may need to make purchases as part of the assignment. Where the transaction is fairly low cost there may be a specific allowance (where you’ll be reimbursed based on your receipt up to a specific value), or your “fee” will be set higher to allow for an amount for you to spend within the store as you choose.
In the case of larger value transactions, we will make arrangement with you so that you are provided with the relevant funds before you begin the assignment. Afterwards you may need to obtain a refund and return the funds to us, or we may have an arrangement with the client where this process is not necessary.
As with other key details, this is all clarified for each assignment before you begin. Whatever fee is stated, this fee will be yours to keep. Any purchases that need to be made are dealt with separately and arrangements will be made to ensure that you are not left “out of pocket”.
You do. You will be offered assignments via the online Shopper interface. The assignment descriptions will clearly explain what is required, where, when, and the fee and any allowances on offer for each assignment.
You will be offered assignments based on the information we hold on file for you. The more relevant information we have about you, the more able we will be to offer you suitable assignments. The choice is always yours though to accept or reject each assignment that is offered to you.
We do ask that (once you are registered as a Shopper) if any assignment is offered but is not of interest to you, you should reject it at the earliest opportunity, so that it can be offered to other Mystery Shoppers.
Not necessarily, but if you do have we may be able to offer you more assignments. When you register as a shopper we’ll ask you how far you are able to travel from your home (as well as usual days and times of availability).