Challenges faced by Mystery Shoppers

The biggest challenge a mystery shopper faces is being identified as a mystery shopper. This can happen when you are doing the same shops over and over again, it’s quite possible that either your accent or the way you shop kind of gives it away.

Another hesitation in mind is whether to share with people that you are a mystery shopper. I kept searching for answers to this and somewhere I read that you can share with your very close relatives but otherwise do not spread too much, it defeats the objects of being a ‘mystery’, it may affect you being a mystery shopper if you get identified as one.

Something else to consider is the possibility of bumping into a friend or a relative at a shop while conducting the assignment, I know, you think it is unlikely but you wouldn’t believe how many this happens and it might cause you to withdraw from the assignment.

It’s quite a stunt when you are grilled with too many questions to answer if you are identified as a mystery shopper. You have to be on your toes to back your own story up and answer questions in the most natural way. Instead of the employees being measured, it becomes the other way round, you are being measured and that feedback will come back to you one way or another. Remember that companies also record calls and have cameras in their shops, so you will be measured and your stories will be checked…

Sometimes mystery shoppers forget to take photos of the shop exterior and may use photographs of a previous time or pick up from the Internet. Inform your scheduler and go by their guidance. Some of the companies have software that detects if the photographs have been copied or picked up from the internet. So it’s always good to let your scheduler know because there’s always a way out, don’t try to make things up, be upfront and see how your errors can be rectified. You can set up a reminder on your phone and after that don’t forget to take your phone with you or else it’ll be a waste of time and gas.

The reality is that it is more of a challenge than ever these days to avoid being detected as a mystery shopper. Over the years all mystery shopping providers should be taken steps to minimize this from happening. There is generally a rotation involved,  of about 60-90 days before the shopper can shop the same location.

Use of mystery shoppers of various ages, genders, and with a diversity of accents are required to avoid voice detection.  So, sometimes if an assignment does not come your way, it is probably because they are looking at a variety of factors,  to get the required responses.

Make your notes as soon as you finish your shop so that you don’t forget the details, and with the technology nowdays it is so simple to pretend you are texting and make little notes on your phones so you are a good reminder when you write your report, and make sure you  keep your notes on all your shops for up to 60 days, especially where you may have used fake names and addresses and phone numbers, so that if they call you are not clueless or flustered.

Do not dress or wear anything that is too prominent that attracts attention and is easily identifiable, and finally, you need to have the street smartness hat on to back up your stories that you create for your scenarios or when you get trapped into tricky situations.


Do you think you have got what it takes to become a Mystery Shopper? If you live in Mumbai, Channel Islands and Morocco, email us today to apply:

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