When you begin mystery shopping, it is easy to get caught up in the mystique of it all. You’re worried that people will catch on and will realize what you are up to. It’s as though you are a spy who must infiltrate enemy territory and collect crucial intellgence, reporting back to your superiors without your true identity being discovered. If they find out who you are, all is lost, and you will be forced to abort the mission. You think to yourself, “Act natural,” but it is harder than it sounds. Here are some tips on how to act like a normal human being when you go mystery shopping:

1) Avoid asking a lot of questions. Often shops require that you test the knowledge of employees. However, testing knowledge does not require numerous questions. One or two questions will suffice. Asking a lot of questions causes you to be memorable, which is something that a mystery shopper should avoid when on the job.

2) Do not request the name of every single employee. If you interact with an employee for an extend period of time, such as if the employee is your server in a restaurant, asking for the employee’s name is completely natural and appropriate. However, if you only interact with an employee for a short length of time, it is odd to request a name. Simply providing a full description of the employee within the report will suffice. That way, those who receive the report will know with whom you interacted, and you avoided drawing attention to yourself during your shop.

3) If you have a partner with you on your shop, be sure to engage in conversation. This tip may seem quite obvious, but it is easy to get bogged down in everything that you need to notice and remember. Then, you and your partner end up silently watching employees rather than behaving as normal customers. Not conversing with each other during your shop can make you stand out.

Mystery shopping is a unique and exciting undertaking, and your hard work as a mystery shopper allows companies to improve their customer service. If you have any other tips for keeping your mystery shopping identity a secret, feel free to comment and share your ideas with us all! You can also find us on facebook – check in often for new shopping jobs, industry news, and more! http://www.facebook.com/customerimpact

by Deborah Campbell (editor Customer Impact)

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