One of the many reasons that people turn away from mystery shopping is that they think too much information is needed. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to get all of the necessary information! However, there are several ways that successful shoppers can ensure that they provide accurate information:
1.) Recorders: Some shoppers like to employ this method because it is easy and records your entire visit without you having to consciously remember essential details. Shoppers keep the recorders in their breast pockets or purses so they can catch everything that is said. Other shoppers like to use a recorder after their shops are completed. Instead of recording during the visit, they speak into the microphone when they are finished, recounting everything that happened or was said during the visit. These two methods are great to use for completing simple shops, and also for the longer, more detailed ones. Be very careful with recordings as many locations are very noisy and background noise may cancel out conversations.
2.) Cell phones: The majority of people who own a cell phone most likely own a Smartphone. These can be a shopper’s best friend when performing shops, since many come installed with a notepad application or have a version that is easy to download. These help shoppers blend in really well because you can go almost anywhere and see people texting or typing on their phones. You can look like you’re surfing the web when you’re actually jotting down everything that your server just asked you! Those who want more privacy can also easily go to a nearby restroom and take notes without feeling as if you are giving away your position as a secret shopper. If you do not want to take notes digitally, you can always do it the old fashioned way and use pen and paper. Of course this takes up room and can be a bulkier item to carry around, but it’s always a good back up in case your phone loses power or decides to not work due to a technical glitch. DO be careful if taking actual notes on paper, as this can be a red flag to the company that you might be a shopper.
3.) People: Almost all restaurant visits require at least two total shoppers to be present during the visit. This is great for shoppers because it’s another pair of eyes and ears to help record the information during your visit. Just guide your shopping partner through some of the details that you need to look for, and this will lighten the burden placed on you! You can also divide the responsibilities and have one person pay close attention to one part of the shop, while you focus on the rest. Then later when you are filling out the report, you both can write the report together and make sure all the details are covered. You can also have one person write the report and then have the other read through it and fill in the holes with the necessary information. This method is a great way to make sure that all details are covered.
Of course, these are only a few methods that successful shoppers use. There are many ways that one can record the necessary information, and it can be different for each person. The first few mystery shops that you do will be full of trials and errors, but it only takes a couple of tries before you figure out which is the best method for you! So are you ready to try it today? Get started by signing up to be a mystery shopper with Customer Impact!