While understandably, a lot of our clients have pulled back on mystery shopping during the pandemic, we do still have a lot of clients who are continuing to mystery shop their establishments at this time. For a lot of the shops we are currently doing, there has been a shift regarding what our clients are looking to monitor and evaluate. If you have chosen to continue mystery shopping during this time, we wanted to provide some tips and best practices when conducting your shops, given these recent changes.
Familiarize yourself with the shop guidelines and the questions you will be asked.
This is something you should always do prior to going out to any mystery shop, however, as the concentration of a lot of our shops has shifted to a more compliant focused shop, so have the guidelines and criteria of what you are required to evaluate when on your shop.
Confirm the location’s hours of operation before going on your shop.
As there is a lot of unpredictability with the pandemic, this means that some businesses will have to shut down at a moment’s notice, and notifying their MSP, is not always something they remember to do. Always call ahead, before going on your shop (don’t just rely on the company’s website), to ensure you are heading off to an open location.
Prepare yourself to follow the rules and regulations of the location you are shopping.
A lot of companies have had to introduce new practices in their businesses to keep their patrons safe and to be compliant with state mandates. This includes but is not limited to requiring guests to wear masks, changes in capacity numbers, enforcing social distancing between guests, implementing one-way traffic, and limiting the amount of time a patron can spend in the establishment. We recommend calling the location beforehand, to ensure that you are aware of any of these policies they have in place so that you are compliant with their standards.
Only pick up shops you are comfortable doing!
If you don’t feel comfortable dining in an establishment, or going into a store to make a purchase, there are plenty of other shop options available. We conduct a lot of web, email, and phone inquiry shops, and those are shops you can do from the comfort of your home.
For those evaluators who are continuing to shop during these unprecedented times, we thank you! For those evaluators who have decided to take a break from mystery shopping given the current uncertainty out there right now, we completely understand. Everyone needs to do what is best for them, and for their families at this time and if that means limiting contact with the public, and avoiding restaurants and retail outlets, we are sensitive to that. The past year has affected so many aspects of everyday life, and if mystery shopping is not top of mind, we get that, and we will be here when you decide to come back.
Stay safe everyone!