Recruiting Mystery Shoppers

There is no “typical” profile when it comes to mystery shoppers. Adults of all ages can do this kind of work. However, when shoppers are being sent out to visit a particular business, the process works best if the mystery shoppers being sent in closely resemble a typical customer.
The idea here is that mystery shoppers are supposed to remain anonymous when they are working; otherwise, the process won’t be as valuable to the client business.

If the mystery shoppers aren’t able to go in to a business and be given the same type of service than a regular customer can expect to receive, then the report that shopper will prepare and submit will not give the company a true reflection of how well (or poorly) it is treating its customers.

Most mystery shoppers do this kind of work on a part-time basis. The companies hiring them try to match them with the types of businesses they would visit anyway, so that the shopper feels quite comfortable when they are going on an assignment.

Mystery shopping companies use a number of different methods to find mystery shoppers. You can find job opportunities in the following places:

  • Classified Ads
  • Mystery Shopping Web Sites
  • Online Discussion Boards
  • Referrals from Other Shoppers

Most mystery shopping companies will have applicants fill in a detailed application form. The information they provide is then matched with available opportunities to perform mystery shopping assignments. For example, a young college student would probably not be sent on a mystery shopping assignment to a luxury new home builder. A better match for that client company would be a more mature individual who would appear very much like a typical customer for that business.

Some types of assignments may have special requirements. If a client owned a dog grooming business, then the mystery shoppers assigned to that location would need to be dog owners. A retailer that sells glasses would need to deal with a mystery shopper who wears corrective eyewear, and so on.

Mystery shoppers may be qualified by the companies that employ them to work on different types of assignments:

If you are interested in becoming a mystery shopper, you may be asked to participate in one or several test shops to make sure you have the necessary skills to perform an actual assignment. This helps to ensure that the information contained in your report is correct and accurate.


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