Before the Site Visit: Three “Must Do’s” for Every Mystery Shopper

Many mystery shoppers really struggle to find their footing in this industry. For some, it is a real struggle to try to figure out exactly what the providers are asking you to do for the assignments. When the assignments aren’t done correctly, as you likely know first hand, a whole slew of negative consequences can happen. For one, it can be pretty difficult to answer the report questions accurately. Plus, the provider is far more likely to come back to you with additional questions on your report (which can be frustrating and time-consuming), and your report may even get rejected altogether, which means you don’t get paid for your work.

If you want to take steps to avoid these things from happening on your next assignments, then be sure to follow some of these tips for an easier time completing your mystery shopping assignments:

The Assignment Details. Every assignment you sign up to get will have some pretty detailed assignment requirements. Now, some mystery shoppers really love to fly by the seat of their pants, so to speak. They feel as though they’ve done a few mystery shopping assignments, and they know what to do. However, the fact is that every assignment truly is unique. Some have some basic requirements, such as checking on the cleanliness of the bathroom. Others, though, want you to take a picture of the storefront, or to state which businesses are located on either side of the site location. These are generally things you have to know about before you make the site visit, and are requirements that you most likely would not be able to meet if you didn’t specifically look for them or do them. So absolutely read the requirements and make sure you understand them before you go.

Plan Your Route. You no doubt have realized that some of the assignment requirements are pretty detailed. For instance, just think about all of the departments that you have to visit on a grocery store assignment, or how detailed the steps of a retail store assignment are (such as having to wait so many minutes to be greeted, trying on clothes, asking for help in the dressing room, etc). With so many requirements to fulfill on a site visit, it can get pretty overwhelming, and it’s really easy to forget a requirement or two. The last thing you want to have to do is fudge a report because you forgot to do something on-site. You can prevent this from happening by simply taking a moment to plan out your route in your head. Essentially, you will want to visualize your site visit in your head, planning out what you will do from start to finish. It sounds basic, but it really will help you to remember all of your requirements.

Take Notes. Sometimes when you get into a store, restaurant, or other site visit location, you start to get overwhelmed with having to remember numerous employee names, different times of events during the visit, and so forth. You can get a good indication of how complicated and detail-oriented a site visit will be beforehand by reading the requirements. So if you think you will have trouble remembering certain details, make a plan for how you will take notes on-site. There are some pretty incognito ways that you can do this. For one, you can walk through the store and send text messages back to yourself with notes. Nobody will know you are texting yourself. If you are in a store where shoppers normally use a shopping list, taking little notes on a paper may not look different than you scratching items off a list. These are just a few of the great ways that you can take notes on-site without drawing attention to yourself.

It can be frustrating to constantly run into issues with your provider over your site visit and reports. When you follow these tips, you will find that those issues are greatly reduced!