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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do companies use Mystery Shoppers?

Companies use mystery shoppers to check their customer services, and ensure their employees are behaving politely to members of the public.  It’s important for a company to have a good reputation where treating their customers is concerned.  Companies, from insurance firms to fast food outlets deal with a mystery shopping agency to conduct their market research using people like you, mystery shoppers. 

Assignments from the agency are given to a mystery shopper because employees will not recognise you as being associated with management .  You are given instructions of what to do, such as buy an item, make a complaint, use a service or make an enquiry.   You then make a report and submit it to us within 24 hours and we forward your feedback to their client, who pays us and we pay you.   Not necessarily in that order so make sure that whoever you register with has a clear outline for you of when you will get paid.

Mystery shopping helps companies find out weaknesses and areas for training and improvement, not just for their employees, but to find if customer service procedures are working or need improvements. 

 That’s why Mystery Shoppers are paid for what they do.

How do I Mystery Shop?

There are different types of mystery shopping.  Example:

  • Visits 

  • Video Visits

  • Telephone Calls

  • Email or web enquiries

Never take notes while in the shop/establishment, but do carry a pad and soon as you are outside (or in your car) write everything you remember down.  The more you delay writing your notes, the less you will remember.  You are being paid for accuracy!  If your reports are of poor standard, badly written or very brief, the company may not call on you again to be a mystery shopper.  If a mystery shopper company finds out you were discovered to be a mystery shopper, they can refuse to pay you.  And finally, KEEP A COPY of your notes and all receipts, the company may contact you after a few weeks to ask you questions their client has asked about your experience.

Once you have become established with the mystery shopping company you can start to turn down jobs and “cherry pick” the higher paying ones, so do submit your reports within 24 hours, and make sure they are well written and detailed. 

When will I get paid?

You’ll get paid, on the industry average, between 2 weeks and 4 weeks.  Do not expect to be paid immediately, but do chase them after 5 weeks if you are still waiting.  Accounts are usually done at the end of each month.  Keep a copy of receipts, as you may need them (the real ones are submitted to the agency for a refund, or proof of purchase if keeping products).

How much can I earn per mystery shop?

How much you will earn depends on the mystery shopper business you are working for and in what area - supermarkets and restaurants usually pay you more than fast food outlets, for example, including the refund of the meal. 

How many companies shall I register with?

We suggest you apply to less than 12 companies at first, most may only require you to mystery shop once a week or once a month.  If after a few weeks you find that you do have spare time to do more mystery shopping, then send of applications to other companies.  Just don’t “over-do” it, assignments vary, and it would look bad to the company if you began making late reports or simply forgetting to mystery shop for a client.  If you are prepared to travel, you may find a company is asking you to mystery shop 5 times a week, especially if you live in a town or city.  

How long does an assignment take? 

This varies.  A retail shop can take 20 minutes to an hour, a supermarket can take 30 minutes to an hour, a restaurant one hour to two hours while a fast food outlet can be less than 15 minutes!   You may be asked to return again a few days later, and write another report, eat another meal, buy another item or follow up a complaint you were asked to do – or simply to see if their customer service has improved since last time!

What if I miss a deadline for my report? 

Most companies will expect you to send them a report within 24 hours of doing an assignment.  This helps them know that you’ve made a more accurate report than relying on memory if you went a week earlier!  If you file a late report will mean you will earn less from the company, the longer you leave it, the less they pay you.  Plus a  late submission of a report would certainly mean they will call on you less often to do an assignment.  So, as soon as you’ve visited a shop or restaurant (or whatever) ensure you send your report in the same day if you can.  Be prompt!




Copyright Impact Mystery Shopping 2014