How to Avoid Last Minute Mystery Shopping Surprises

Mystery shopping is one of those jobs that seems like it will be an easy-breezy way to earn a few extra bucks, or even to earn the equivalent of a full-time income. While many assignments can indeed be completed without a hitch, inevitably there are those assignments that seem to throw you for a loop with a hiccup or snag that you just didn’t see coming. The fact is, though, that many mystery shopping assignments can actually be prevented with some effort on your part. Here are some things you can do to limit surprises from your upcoming assignments:

Read the Guidelines Carefully. Most mystery shoppers are aware that they should be reading the mystery shopping guidelines and requirements for their assignments ahead of time. Of course, some simply skim over the guidelines while others really dig down into the nitty gritty of the requirements. Others do a quick read initially when they are awarded the assignment and save a more detailed read for a time when they are about to walk out the door to complete the assignment. The fact is that you want to give yourself ample time to get your questions about the requirements answered before you set off to complete the assignment, and so while it may take a few extra minutes of your time, you do want to do a thorough read-through of the requirements as soon as you can.

Think It Through. It’s often not enough to simply read the requirements, and instead you actually need to think through your site visit step by step. It often helps to visualize your assignment site visit every step of the way, from the moment you walk in the door until you leave. This can help to ensure you have all of the equipment you need on hand, that you have notes taken (and concealed away) if you need them, and that you even have a cover story available, too.

Don’t Make Assumptions. Many mystery shoppers find a specific assignment that they enjoy doing, and so they will look for these assignments every few months when they are eligible to work on them again. Of course, this often leads to a mystery shopper feeling as though the requirements don’t really need to be read. After all, you’ve done this assignment a couple of times in the past and know what to do. Of course, companies can change their requirements, and you certainly do not want to be caught off guard. So it is best to avoid making assumptions in cases like this.

Nobody likes to be surprised during a site visit, or worse after you have left the site location and are back at home working on your report! This can really escalate your stress level on the job, and it can also actually affect your income in some cases, too. Take time to put these tips into play in your mystery shopping routine, and you will limit the number of surprises you face on the job.