Anonymous Shopaholics

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mystery shopper

If given the choice, most people would jump at the opportunity to be paid to go shopping. Sean Sequeira evaluates the requirements to make money through mystery shopping

WHAT IS MYSTERY SHOPPING?

Mystery shopping is about reviewing a customer experience of a particular brand’s outlet or service in order to help the brand keep up and improve their customer service standards. Mystery shoppers visit the outlet and pretend to be normal customers while making a note of their experience in detail and submitting a report to the mystery shopping company.

WHAT DOES A MYSTERY SHOPPER DO?

Mystery shoppers will be required to make notes of minor details that help improve or ruin the customer experience while at an outlet. Upon entering the store, the mystery shopper will make a note of how long it takes for them to be greeted by the staff, the cleanliness and ambience of the location, the speed and quality of service provided, whether the products are stacked in order, the speed with which the staff responds, whether the employees are following the company’s dress code policy, etc. The particulars of each task change according to the requirements of the client.

HOW DO I BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER?

A simple online registration with a reviewing company is good enough to get you started. The online registration will require you to provide a few details about yourself for the company records. Once registered, you can begin applying for assignments as and when they appear on the company website and start off as a mystery shopper.

PROCEDURE

* Register with a mystery shopping company
* Apply for an assignment
* Wait for approval from the company
* Read the assignment brief carefully
* Visit the store
* Evaluate based on the requirements of the brief
* Write and submit a report
* Send purchase receipts or images if required
* Receive payment

SKILLS

A mystery shopper needs to have rudimentary skills such as attention to detail, a good memory, communication and language skills and objective evaluation skills. They will need to be street smart and be able to act on their feet since they may be required to photograph products without alerting the staff or may need to create conflicts to observe how the employees deal with the situation.

ELIGIBILITY

Mystery shopping companies will usually assign tasks based on the demographics of the client’s target audience. If you are the ideal customer for a certain client, it is likely that you will be assigned the task. Your experience as a mystery shopper and time spent working with the company will also factor into the assignments. Those who prove themselves to be reliable are given elaborate tasks while those just starting out will be given simpler ones.

MONEY

The monetary returns vary according to the policies of the mystery shopping company. Some policies offer only a small stipend for the time and effort which ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1000. Other policies refund the complete purchase amount with or without an additional stipend. Longer assignments may offer a bigger payment. For example, a weekend visit to evaluate a hotel may earn you Rs. 50,000 or more.
Payment to the mystery shopper is usually done through a direct bank transfer. The shopper will be asked for their bank account details and the money is transferred to their bank account 30-90 days after successfully completing the assignment.

FRAUDS

Be sure to check with previous experiences to know if a company pays on time or refuses to pay. Be aware of fraudulent mystery shopping companies. Companies requiring a registration fee or a donation might be involved in fraudulent activities as may be the case with companies that promise huge returns for simple tasks. Most legitimate companies are registered with the internationally recognised Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA).

The future of mystery shopping: “The trend of gathering retail intelligence through mystery shopping has been consistently growing. Given the huge impact it could have on the retail industry, which has just started booming, the mystery shopping industry is set to become much bigger.” – Pankaj Guglani CEO, RedQuanta

BEST MYSTERY  SHOPPING COMPANIES IN INDIA

* Bare Associates International
* DQS India
* Trans MR Consulting
* RedQuanta

TIPS TO SUCCEED

✓ Be willing to take up any project offered to you in the beginning. Once the company begins to trust you, your monetary returns and quality of assignments will improve.
✓ Don’t take up assignments you are not likely to complete by the deadline. Missing the deadline frequently can result in the company blacklisting you from its list of mystery shoppers.
✓ Read the assignment brief given to you carefully. If you fall short of the expectations of the company or client, you may not get the full payment you expect or any payment at all.
✓ Keep checking for assignment updates. The brand you like may be assigned to someone else if you don’t apply soon enough.

 

Volume 3 Issue 7

1 COMMENT

  1. ✓ Be willing to take up any project offered to you in the beginning.
    Once the company begins to trust you, your monetary returns and quality
    of assignments will improve.

    ✓ Don’t take up assignments you are not likely to complete by the
    deadline. Missing the deadline frequently can result in the company
    blacklisting you from its list of mystery shoppers.

    ✓ Read the assignment brief given to you carefully. If you fall short of
    the expectations of the company or client, you may not get the full
    payment you expect or any payment at all.

    ✓ Keep checking for assignment updates. The brand you like may be assigned to someone else if you don’t apply soon enough.

    http://www.swift-codes.org

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