Why You Need to Build a Trusting Relationship with your Mystery Shopping Providers (and How To Do It)

In the workplace, trust is very important. An employer trusts that employees will not only show up to work each and every day, but that the employees will do their best work and make clients or customers happy. Likewise, an employee trusts that the employer will pay them on time and as agreed for the employee’s time and efforts, and that the employer is looking out for the employee’s best interest.

Without trust in the workplace, everyone would be checking up on everyone else and very little would actually be accomplished. In the mystery shopping world, trust is important, too. The provider relies on the mystery shopper to do each and every assignment requested exactly per the assignment requirements. Providers have to report back to their clients, and they need to do a great job (via their mystery shoppers’ efforts) if they want to keep the clients’ business.

Likewise, mystery shoppers trust that their providers are ethical and trustworthy. They trust that when a provider requests an assignment to be done and the assignment requirements are fulfilled, they will be paid in a timely manner.

So it is clear to see that trust is important for making the mystery shopping world go round, but how do you build trust with your mystery shopping providers?

Do Your Best Work (and Only Your Best Work). Mystery shoppers should always perform assignment requirements exactly per the instructions. For most ethical mystery shopping providers, this is usually all you need to do to win the trust of your providers. However, there are some providers who ask you to deviate from the written word of the requirements by altering your report. This creates more work for you and puts you in an unethical position. Make an effort to build trust with providers who are worthy of your trust, too.

Be Professional (and Expect Professionalism.) With mystery shopping, there is no denying that relationships can get heated at times. When communication breaks down between provider and mystery shopper, emotions can run high. And tempers can really flare when payments are made slowly. Be sure to approach each and every situation with a level head, and avoid becoming irate with your providers for any reason. If you find that your mystery shopping providers are not acting professionally with you, take that as a sign that this is likely not a business relationship you want to nurture. There are far too many providers out there to put up with people treating you poorly, paying  you too slowly, or asking you to alter reports in a way that you are not comfortable with.

Now is an excellent time to pause and reflect on trust in your mystery shopping relationships. First look at yourself and consider how trustworthy you have been to your providers. Then reflect on each of your providers. Have they returned that same level of trust back to you? If not, it may be time to find a new mix of mystery shopping providers to work with.