You are going to say that there seems to be no thrill at all. In a way you would be right. The purpose of engaging mystery shoppers started around 1940 and it was used to test how honest employees were or whether they were able to proceed according to how their employers wished. Today, this tool is used by almost all industries such as hotels, restaurants, banks, malls, cinemas, drug companies and even in medical tourism. After all, any progressive company can benefit from knowing the real score about their business and mystery shoppers help fill that need.
The way that the information is collated is through answering questionnaires or through pictures, videos or recordings. The mystery shopper will be given specific instructions about the methodology that will be used to acquire the information they want. It is important for a person involved in mystery shopping to follow specific instructions so that the data that will be collected will be accurate. The shopper will then need to fill out forms or a report that needs to be submitted at a specified deadline. The deadline needs to be kept so that the company in need of the information can then forward it to the client. Like any other work, the mystery shopper needs to be professional.
While it is expected that mystery shoppers or secret shoppers as they are otherwise called be professional in the accomplishment in their duties, it is not necessary for them to have a college degree. Different kinds of people make up the profile of secret shoppers. The needs of a company are better met if different kinds of people make up the pool. Unless otherwise specified as in the case where licensed investigators are needed to conduct the task, there is no training or experience that is asked for. The person just needs to be observant, unbiased and reliable especially when it comes to performing the tasks. Some ‘scenarios’ are made up so that at times the mystery shopper is like an actor that needs to follow a script.
At other times, all that a secret shopper needs is a pen and a notebook or a stopwatch to record schedules, delays, how quick they can be served and other similar tasks. Not all mystery shoppers get to buy and keep bags of designer clothes or have all expense paid trips. It depends on the client. And if you want to become a mystery shopper, always be wary of companies that require you to give them money so that you can get listed. There are a lot of scams that abound in this business because they know that for a lot of people it is a thrill to become involved in mystery shopping.