There is often so much detailed information to remember on a mystery shop assignment. Your requirements may ask you to keep track of the employee’s name, a description of the employee, the time you entered and left the store, how long you were in the store or fitting room before someone helped you, if the displays were set up appropriately and if so, what was wrong with them… the list goes on and on! Considering an average shop lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, you are cramming a lot of information into your head in a very short amount of time, all the while trying not to look suspicious. Not to mention if you forget any details you may not get paid for your shop. This can create a lot of stress for a shopper, but it doesn’t have to!
High Tech Notes. With today’s technology, you can very discreetly take notes on your shop as you walk through the store. You can use your PDA or your cell phone to casually take notes. As you walk through the aisles, act like you are sending a text message to someone. Or you can really send a text message back to yourself. This way your phone will actually ring back to indicate you are receiving a text message back from someone!
Or pretend to check your PDA for items on your shopping list. Act as though you are crossing one item off and looking for the next one. Or check for sizes and color preferences on your pretend list for the person you are buying presents for.
Note-Taking The Old-Fashioned Way. When those high tech gadgets fail or when they would look too suspicious in your assigned setting, a good old fashioned note page and paper may work OK. For instance, in a grocery store, it may look a little odd for you to be typing on a cell phone throughout your whole visit, whereas in a restaurant or even clothing store this may not stand out as odd. Not to mention, in a grocery story punching away on your cell phone would not be the easiest thing to do as you push a shopping cart through the aisles. On shops such as these, grab that paper and pen and take your notes the old fashioned way. Pretend you are writing on your shopping list or crossing items off your list.
Even if you aren’t in a grocery store, you can still take notes with a pad and paper if you use the private areas of the store to your advantage. Make a quick stop in the bathroom and hide away in a stall for a few moments. Or pretend to try on clothes, but instead scribble some of the shop details on a piece of paper. You can write down all the details you were supposed to remember up to that point and then move on to the next stage of your shop.
On most shops, there’s no reason to keep all of this information crammed into your head. You are more likely to forget information and lose important information. Or you may get the small details confused and enter incorrect information into your report. So make your life a little easier and take notes along the way.