Mystery Shopping Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cover

Many mystery shoppers sign up to earn cash in this unique line of work because it is a fun and flexible way to make a few bucks, or even to earn a full-time living. Yet there is more to the job than meets the eye, and spending most of your workday with head down and trying to keep your secret identity concealed from those around you can really weigh on you over time. Many mystery shoppers become overly anxious and sometimes even completely stressed out over the anticipation of getting caught during their site visits.

Accept What May Come. Anytime you enter an assignment location and perform a site visit, you do indeed run the risk of getting caught. There absolutely are steps that you can take to prevent your identity from being revealed, but even the most skilled and experienced mystery shoppers will meet their match with a cunning and overly observant employee from time to time. Absolutely take preventive measures to limit these occurrences as much as possible, but you should also relax and simply accept that this is part of the job and may happen from time to time. After all, being anxious about it only makes you look more suspicious!

Develop a Plan. Often it can make you feel better about the possibility of being revealed as a mystery shopper by having a plan in place for how you will handle such an event. Each event will be unique, and so you cannot expect to have a step by step plan. Instead, you can run through a few general scenarios in your head, such as if your identity is revealed by a consumer versus by an employee. What will you say? How will you make a discreet but hasty exit from the location? What will you say when you call or email your scheduler?

Prevention is Key. As mentioned earlier, taking a few preventive measures can go a long way towards helping you to prevent such occurrences from happening. They likely will still happen from time to time, but when you take evasive actions, you will find that you can complete hundreds of assignments without being caught. There are numerous ways you can prevent such things from happening, such as not shopping the same location more than once every few months, keeping your job a secret from friends and neighbors, and developing a strategy for completing assignment requirements before you set foot in the location.

Nobody wants to be revealed as a mystery shopper. It can be embarrassing and stressful, and it also can cost you a paycheck, too! There are quite a few things that you can and should do as a mystery shopper to prevent your identity from being revealed and known to store staff. Yet even with the best preventive measures, this is bound to happen to you at least a time or two over the course of your career as a mystery shopper. So develop a plan of action for how you plan to handle such an event, and then try to relax and enjoy your job as much as possible knowing that you have done all you can to prepare.