This post may contain affiliate links, please read my Disclosure policy.
Legitimate Mystery Shopping Companies to Work For
Love shopping experiences?
Mystery shoppers are hired to provide evaluations on shopping trips.
Businesses want satisfied and enthused customers about their products and services. Happy customers generally lead to better profits. And, here comes mystery shopping to provide feedback.
How to find out if your customers are satisfied? For a Solopreneur or a small business this is not hard to find. However, for large companies with numerous branches and employees, understanding the complexity of customer service and satisfaction is a big deal.
Mystery shopping service is a response to businesses’ needs to understand the customer experience. Businesses are looking to receive a grade, so that services can be improved.
What is Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping is a marketing research method that many businesses, companies, and organizations use. This is not a personal experience feedback, rather an objective evaluation of contact with employees and services.
Mystery shoppers are hired to measure the quality of service offered by a business, employees’ job performance, compliance with regulations, or simply information about a competitor or the market in general.
How does Mystery Shopping Work
Though some businesses do conduct the mystery sopping themselves, it is mainly third-party vendors that hire the mystery customers, make the retail transactions and provide the information they have gathered.
Once the mystery shoppers have been hired, they go to the business and act as normal customers. They purchase goods, eat if it is a restaurant, or make inquiries about the services and goods.
It is important to note that the mystery customer’s role is not to give their personal opinion on the services rendered but to assess the business and the employees from a customer experience perspective.
Example of mystery shopping questions
Some of the information collected by mystery customers may include;
- The number of employees that were on duty at the moment when he or she entered
- Were you greeted with a smile
- How friendly the employees were to the customer
- The type of products that were pitched and the name of the employee, or employees, with which the customer interacted with.
- How long were the cashier lines
- Were you offered special offers
- Comment on the staff grooming and appearance
- 9 ways to find work from home virtual receptionists jobs
- 9 profitable business ideas for self-starter moms
- 10 websites to make at least $100 a day working from home
How does Mystery Shopping Pay
The payment method issued to the mystery customers is entirely dependent on the third-party firm that hired the customers. Most mystery shoppers are paid by the job they do and not by the time spent.
Shoppers earn anywhere between $8 to $100 or more per hour. In some cases, however, the shoppers are not paid but rather reimbursed for the expenses they incurred in the process of evaluating the business.
For example, in a restaurant or hotel, the mystery shopper may be reimbursed for the food and drinks he or she bought. Additionally, in the case of a hotel, the manager will reimburse the expenses incurred.
How to Start Mystery Shopping
The best way to find mystery shopping jobs is to apply with the talent agencies that manage these services for companies.
Some of the requirements for a mystery shopper include; detailed oriented, organized and able to conduct the work objectively.
These are 5 legitimate mystery shopping companies to work for.
Ath Power Consulting
Ath Power Consulting is a member of the Mystery Shopping Providers’ Association (MSPA) and an Elite Member of the same organization for the fifth consecutive year. The company offers more than 10,000 jobs monthly and has more than half a million shoppers already registered.
Most mystery companies have a wide range of jobs in different markets. However, Ath Power Consulting is focused on one particular niche, the financial and banking industry. It also has jobs that involve airports, though these require you to have a certain level of security clearance.
Unlike most of the other mystery shopping companies, Ath Power doesn’t pay right away. It pays its mystery shoppers only twice a month instead of immediately after the job has been completed.
BARE’s mystery shoppers can do either over-the-phone customer chats, in-person calls, or radio visits. The company is well known for its effectiveness and was even awarded the Shopper’s Choice award from the MSPA in 2019.
With Bare, you can select five area codes in which you can mystery shop. This makes sure that you are comfortable and can maximize your earnings.
Established in 1993, Secret shopper is a well-established mystery shopping company that ensures businesses can gather the data they need to provide much more effective customer service. This site is free to sign up for, and within a couple of hours, you will be an employee.
The Market Force mainly handles stores, restaurants, and banks. The mystery shoppers that sign up for jobs on this site are required to provide feedback on things such as product selection, cleanliness, and customer service.
Perception Strategies focus on healthcare. Formed in 1998, the company has over 150,000 healthcare mystery shoppers.
The jobs range from a quote for a particular medical service to calling a doctor’s office. You may also be required to do in-person visits without a prior appointment or even making a full-length visit.
As you might tell, the main aim of this company is to ensure that healthcare providers get the necessary feedback when it comes to patients’ experience so that they will be able to make the experience as easy as possible.
The company has a list of area codes and cities in which it needs mystery shoppers the most. Thus, if you reside in one of these areas, you will not lack a couple of regular jobs.
Tips to Start Mystery Shopping
As a mystery shopper, there are some things you should do to be effective and find new assignments.
- Set aside some time to take notes -After shopping at any shop, allow fifteen minutes to take notes while the experience is fresh in your mind. This will minimize the chances of forgetting the details of the interaction when completing the remaining assignments.
- Carry a mystery shop folder – Dedicate some space in your home office for mystery shopping assignments to keep your shops organized. This is particularly helpful for people who have a busy house.
- Look out for new assignments – Check your job board regularly to remain updated with new mystery shop assignments.
- Set a deadline – Find out when deadlines are set and stay ahead of them by setting personal deadlines. Also, set calendar reminders to get reminded when reports are due.
- Comments are vital – It is vital to provide comments on all mystery shopping activities. If there were multiple comment boxes in your survey, ensure that your comments pertain to the questions above every box. Your comments and answers to your questions offer a complete summary of what occurred during the encounter.
- Prepare early for upcoming shops – When you prepare for shops early, your mind can relax and remain focused on the assignment’s goals. Simple things such as setting out your clothing and printing directions the previous night can make your assignment go smoothly.
- Schedule several assignments per day – If you need to make a trip across town to a mystery shop assignment, check your job board to determine if you qualify for other shops in the area.
- Have fun – if you enjoy your assignments, you will become a successful mystery shopper. This is the time to sign up for mystery shopping assignments in your area.
Mystery shopping can be a source of extra income if you have flexibility and enjoy being part of shopping experiences.
There are many talent agencies providing mystery shopping services to businesses. You can apply for these jobs and wait to receive opportunities.
Take the time to research any company you apply for online and offline. Use resources such as the Better Business Bureau, Consumers Affairs and feedback you can get from users.