More and more mystery shoppers have started taking advantage of the latest technology to secretly record audio and even video tape footage of their mystery shopping site visits. When you have the right equipment, it can be incredibly easy to get and audio or video recording of your site visit. But the question remains, is it worth your time and effort? The answer is an overwhelming YES!
Let The Recording Do The Work For You! Well, not all of the work. You still need to walk through the full assignment and cover all aspect of the requirements. But when you use a video or audio recording device, you don’t need to be nearly as diligent in terms of memorizing each and every detail. For instance, if you don’t want to remember the salesperson’s name, you can simply say audibly, “Hi, John. Yes, I do need some help today.” Then when you get back to your house, simply listen through the audio recording to capture the name again. You can use the recordings to recall timing and sales techniques as well as many other aspects of the assignment. Keep in mind that when you have to refer back to a recording to answer every question on your report, your report will take considerably longer to complete. However, when you use the recording to fill in the fuzzy areas, using an audio or video recording as a make-up will make you much more confident and stress-free during your site visit.
Protect Yourself! More and more mystery shoppers are running into problems with dishonest employees and managers at the stores, as well as issues with providers and even retailers. When your integrity and diligence is called into question on a report, it can result in reduced or even completely lost pay for that assignment. On top of that, it can also lead to you being removed as an eligible mystery shopper for that provider if the charge against you is serious enough. Without an audio or video recording of your site visit, it essentially boils down to your word against theirs. And in most cases, the mystery shopper loses the battle. But when you have an audio or video recording of your site visit, the evidence supporting your report is right there for everyone to see and hear. If your report was truthful and honest, your recording gives you a leg to stand on when you are confronted with a reporting issue.
Keep It Undercover. It is far easy to make an audio recording of your site visit than a video recording. Digital voice records come in very compact sizes today, with excellent audio recording capability. So you can easily conceal an audio recording device in a purse or even in a loose pocket. When you use an audio recording, be sure to comment out loud on aspects of the assignment that are visible to you but are not audible. For instance, just before you enter the store, speak out loud that you are entering the store – although you need to make sure others don’t hear you say this.
Video recordings are often much more difficult to accomplish incognito. Typically, a video recording will be done in small pieces here and there. For instance, if you want video evidence that displays are not set up correctly, you may be able to very quickly get some footage of a display when nobody is looking. Cell phones are excellent video recording devices, although the image quality is marginal.
If you aren’t already using an audio or video recording device to back-up the events of your site visit, you may want to consider adding this extra step to your mystery shopping routine.