For anyone who is considering mystery shopping (or maybe just getting started) here is one bit of information that you may not be aware of…. Once you start, you can’t stop!  Once you peek behind the curtain of the training and standards required by a particular restaurant, convenience store, bank, or retailer, there’s no going back.  Think of it as taking the red pill instead of blue from Morpheus.  If you take the blue pill and never begin your mystery shopping adventure, you will remain blissfully unaware of the matrix surrounding you.  No, not the matrix created by machines in order to enslave the human race, but the matrix of customer service.  This is the matrix of time standards, suggestive selling, nametags, and managers.



Sounds like fun, right?  Thank you Mr. Fishburne, I think I will go with the red pill.  Now welcome to the world of mystery shopping!  With each shop you do, you are given an inside look at the service and training standards.  How many rings should it take before the phone is answered?  How many appetizers should be specifically suggested when your table is greeted?  What EXACTLY should the salesperson say to you when you walk in the door of their store?  Every mystery shop is a test for any employee, and you are given the answers ahead of time.  Still sounds interesting, right?

And it is…. But there’s a catch.  Once you know about the matrix, you can’t not know about the matrix.  Once you get into the habit of measuring how long it takes for your payment to be handled, it is really hard to stop.  And while it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be have high expectations when it comes to service, remember that you shouldn’t hold every business up to someone else’s standards.  You shouldn’t go to your local diner and expect the hostess to ever so gently place your napkin in your lap.  And you REALLY shouldn’t expect every salesperson to ask for your name and suddenly become your personal shopper, guiding you through all the merchandise to find the product that’s perfect for you.  The point is to keep an open mind, and appreciate each restaurant or store as its own, whether you are performing a shop or not.  As hard as it is to stop counting the number of seconds it takes for your server to check back with you every time you go out to eat, it’s okay to turn it off and relax!



But now it’s decision time… are you going with the blue pill and choosing to skip along unaware of your customer service surroundings?  Or are you ready to lift the veil of the mystery shopping matrix? If you’re ready, sign up now!  Go to  Click on the Shoppers drop-down menu, and choose New Shopper Sign Up!  Fill out your shopper profile, and start shopping businesses near you.  Still have questions?  Email me at  I will happily be your Morpheus, guiding you through the matrix of mystery shopping.

Blog Post Courtesy of Adrienne Dobson (Customer Impact Operations Manager)