One of the main components of a successful mystery shop, is just that, keeping it a mystery. Conducting your shop without outing yourself as a shopper is a very important part of the mystery shop process as our clients are looking for untainted feedback. If an employee at the location you are shopping recognizes you as a shopper, their behavior will most likely change and thus our clients will not get the most accurate feedback from your visit.
On our end, we try to make it the most authentic of experiences and we work with our clients to determine what a natural experience at their establishment looks like. We know that things like requiring the shopper to ask a lot of specific product questions or take a lot of photos are aspects of a shop that raise red flags.
However, some of our clients are still looking for this type of information, and thus your responsibility as a shopper is to not only provide the required feedback, but there is an added element of staying covert on your mystery shop. Below are some tips for keeping your identity a secret while on your mystery shop.
- BE PREPARED: Make sure you have a full understanding of what exactly you need to ask, what scenario you are following, or what photos you need to take, prior to going on your shop. While on your shop, you do not want to be in a position of being ill-equipped to obtain the required information.
- DRESS THE PART: You want to fit into your surroundings, so make sure you dress in accordance with the standards of the establishment you are shopping. You can check the client’s website, call the location, or ask your scheduler if you are unsure.
- BE DISCREET: While some may think it is strange to take photos of your food in a restaurant setting, the reality is that it is a very common occurrence in this day and age, so this will most likely not cause any alarm. However, for example, if you need to take a photo of a food-prep line; wait until the employee has turned their back. If you are ever questioned about why you are taking a photo, be ready to explain. You could say something along the lines of needing to place an order for a friend, and you want to make sure you are able to relay all the ingredients. You should be using a smartphone for all photos as it is an extremely common device, and it is not going to raise a lot of eyebrows.
- ACT NATURAL: You do not want to sound rehearsed when asking your questions. Employees are used to getting questions from their customers, especially about food, given that there are a lot of allergies and dietary restrictions. Ask these questions like you really need to know the answers; do not just go through the motions as you will come across as scripted.
Following these guidelines will assist in protecting your identity as a shopper. However, if you are ever concerned that you are going to give yourself away as a shopper due to a unique shop requirement or instruction, do not hesitate to reach out to our Shopper Help Desk. They will be able to better assist you on the specifics of your shop and provide you with additional tips and techniques, given your specific scenario.