A mystery shopper is a trained and independent service evaluator of banks, grocery stores, casino, and retail stores. The service oriented industry commissions the mystery shopper to evaluate their business as a typical customer. The mystery shopper visits the premises and experiences what it is like to be a typical customer and then submits detailed notes of the experience to the managers. The report should be an objective presentation of both negative and positive experiences and opinions against the industry standards and other industry competitors. This method is used to evaluate the services and products but most especially the staff who should be customer service oriented.
For example, a typical job for a mystery shopper is simply walking into a restaurant to order a meal. Most often, other tasks are assigned which are interpreted as challenges to the restaurant’s customer service abilities. The mystery shopper may be accompanied by children, heavily pregnant, of a different race, act difficult, demanding and hard to please, steal something, return merchandise without using the laid down channels or claim to be allergic to some ingredient in the food. The response of the staff informs managers of their employees’ behavior, the security system and overall customer service. The same method can be applied to a bank, clothing shop or grocery shop.
Positions for mystery shoppers are available online from mystery shopping companies. Be wary of fraudulent companies who demand a registration fee or your bank details when you apply. Payment is usually an hourly wage and any purchases made are reimbursed.