Investigative Skills For Professional Mystery Shoppers
Mystery shopping is a seemingly simple task that actually takes a bit of skill to pull off accurately. To avoid tipping off a business about your presence, your ability to get into a role of a customer who genuinely wants services or information needs a bit of polish. Not many people are good at this kind of acting, either, because they're too nervous or take the role too seriously when it comes to gathering business information. To produce better results and qualify for greater mystery shopping opportunities, here are a few skill angles that can boost your performance.
Win Friends And Influence Cashiers
If you're nervous during mystery shopping opportunities or feel that you're being a bit too phony, it's because you're thinking about the situation too much.
A mystery shopper's mind needs to get rid of the idea that they're not really a customer. You are a customer; just because you don't personally need the product for your life, doesn't mean you don't need the product at all. It's just needed for your job, so it's still a legitimate purchase or set of questions.
If your mindset isn't geared towards asking lots of questions about a product or service, try asking more questions around your normal shopping areas. Do you go to restaurants that prepare your food or drinks in front of you? Places like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or any restaurant that doesn't have high customer load should have a barista or waiter that can either answer your questions or get answers from someone else.
Get used to asking about things you care about during your own shopping, and use it to your advantage in your personal life as well as mystery shopping business. Stores such as Best Buy, for example, sell a lot of electronics that are supposed to help your personal life while offering a lot of complex features. Instead of guessing on your own or relying on your own professional or hobby knowledge, take this time to quiz employees who hover around customers about certain products.
Learn Brevity For Note-Taking
You may hear some things that are interesting during a mystery shopping attempt, and it's not always practical to draft a giant set of paragraphs while you're in the store. You'll need to learn how to take notes, and there's no problem with doing this as a legitimate customer.
Customers are allowed to have questions about certain pieces of information for their own research. Most businesses won't have a problem with taking a few short notes, but don't be rude about it; if you're going to whip out a pen and pad to write down information or pull out your phone, just casually mention that you want to learn more about that topic and keep notes to get better at that topic.
Most representatives are fine with that explanation. A hard sale might try to rush you along--which should be considered a negative as far as your report goes--but no one should be stopping you from getting information from notes later.
Contact a mystery shopping business, like Service Scouts, to discuss secret shopping techniques and opportunities for individuals with better investigative skills.