There is no formal training to be a mystery shopping. Everything you learn is on-the-job training that you do along the way. With every assignment you complete, you gain more experience and become a better mystery shopper. You refine important skills you need to be a great mystery shopper and you learn new strategies for combating issues you may run into on the job site and with your scheduler. Perhaps the biggest and most important lessons come from mistakes you may have made on past assignments.
Sharpen Your Listening Skills. When you are walking through an assignment at the store site, it’s very easy to get bogged down in the details. You are trying to remember a million details, from the layout of displays, to the nit-picky timing requirements, salesperson names, and so much more. With so many details floating around your head, it’s often difficult to communicate intelligently with the sales staff and to pick up on key details of the conversation. When you get back to your desk at home, it can be hard to recall the details of your interactions with the sales staff, which makes completing an accurate report fairly difficult. You may be honest about the details of your assignment on your report by providing the scanty information you remember, or you may fudge the report a bit. Even if you don’t get caught in your mistake, you still know this is an important area to improve.
As you progress through various mystery shopping assignments, you will learn important listening skills to help you with your report-writing. Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street. What you say is infinitely important, as you can steer the conversation in a way that meets the requirements of the mystery shopping assignment. Yet what you hear the salesperson say is just as important, so it’s important to fine-tune your listening skills.
Keep An Eye On Those Details. Mystery shopping is all about the details. You may fly through your first mystery shopping assignment by the skin of your teeth, barely paying attention to assignments requirements before your site visit. And then when you are writing the report, you may have only a vague recollection of some of the answers to the questions. You make a few mistakes, or you may squeak by, knowing full well that your report wasn’t as thorough as it could have been. As you gain more experience, you learn to read the assignment requirements before your site visit so you know what to pay attention at on your site visit.
Yet as you try to improve your eye for detail by reading the assignment requirements, you then get bogged down by all the details. As you progress with various assignments, eventually you learn important strategies for coping with the details, such as memorization strategies, note taking, and so on. You may also learn which assignments aren’t compensated appropriately for the amount of work and detail required of them.
Watch The Clock. Yes, keeping track of the time requirements on a mystery shopping assignment is important. But just as important is showing up to the job site on time. When you are new to mystery shopping, you may not pay attention to the shop requirements for the dates and times of the assignment is to be completed in. Or if you notice this information, you may not understand its importance. That is, of course, until you fail to show up at the job site at the correct time and you don’t get paid for your hard work. Just one of these costly mistakes is enough to whip you right into shape so this never happens again.
It’s important to note why assignments give a date and time to complete the assignment at. Often, the retailer is ordering the mystery shop to be completed to check up on certain sales staff or managers. The date and time of your mystery shopping assignment likely coincides with the work schedule of the employees that the head office wants to check up on.
Mystery shopping is definitely an on-the-job training gig, so be sure to pay attention to the mistakes and flubs you make on each of your assignments so you can improve yourself on your next assignment.