Grassroots Mystery Shopping: The Ultimate Guide
One of the most popular companies in the UK is Grassroots Mystery Shopping. If you have been a mystery shopper for some time, then I’m sure you will have come across these guys. If you are brand new to this, then they are well worth checking out. I personally have been signed up with Grassroots mystery shopping for a number of years now and they are one that I check regularly for new assignments. Their website blurb states that they have been helping a large number of international clients for over 35 years now. This is pretty impressive in itself.
Being part of the mystery shopper community means that you sign up to more than one company. For example, I used to be signed up to a particular company and they had –
- a huge fashion retailer
- another couple of fashion retailers that you’ll find on pretty much every High Street
- one of the biggest coffee chains globally
- department stores
And now they don’t have any of these on their books. So, staying with one company might leave you wanting when it comes to finding an assignment or two. It doesn’t cost any money to sign up with a mystery shopping company. Or at least it shouldn’t. So, you should think about signing up with a handful and checking them regularly. With this in mind, Grassroots mystery shopping is a great choice.
Why Grassroots Mystery Shopping?
Great question. We should always make decisions with the backing of knowledge and confidence. Signing up for a mystery shopping company is just the same. So, why Grassroots mystery shopping?
Firstly, they have a good range of assignment available. If you sign up for The Mystery Dining Company, for example, then you know that you will be carrying out a dining mystery shop. If that’s not your thing then you end up missing out. Grassroots mystery shopping has different sectors, including –
- Hotel and the leisure industry
- High Street retail
- Banking and other financial services
- Fast food
This means that there are options. If you don’t fancy automotive, then have a go at fast food and see how you get on. The sky is the limit with Grassroots mystery shopping.
Another great reason to sign up with Grassroots mystery shopping is the fact that they pay promptly. I really don’t like mystery shopping companies that hold on to your money for weeks, or even months. It doesn’t feel right. Fortunately, these guys are one of those that pay within a week or so. No more waiting around for your cash to come in!
Signing Up With Grassroots Mystery Shopping
They are always on the lookout for new shoppers. This means that you can easily sign up when you are ready. They ask all the usual things you would expect –
- Contact number
And that’s pretty much it to begin with in terms of the personal information. You don’t want to give out details unnecessarily. It doesn’t feel excessive to ask for the details above.
Then they ask for you to write a short paragraph explaining ‘what qualities you think a good mystery shopper should have.’ Don’t get hung up on this. It’s an interesting question to answer. I really like thinking about this. Some of the qualities that you might want to include are –
- Good timekeeping. If you have agreed to shop at a certain time, then you should be able to meet that agreement.
- Objectivity. You don’t want a previous experience of a shop to influence the way you measure the service on an assignment. It wouldn’t be fair and wouldn’t be professional.
- Attention to detail. On a mystery shopping assignment, you will be asked to record details. So, it makes sense that a mystery shopper can pick these details up.
- An interest in shopping. Sounds pretty obvious why this would be important. They want you to enjoy this as much as see it as a way of making money.
- Discretion. The title ‘mystery shopping’ gives you a big clue here. They need you to remain a mystery. Don’t give the game away! If you get spotted as a mystery shopper then there are ways of making this as painless as possible.
- Online skills. Although you don’t need to be some computer whiz kid, assignments are advertised online, and reports are submitted online. You need access to a PC and some basic skills to navigate your way around the site.
- Positivity. You have to remain positive as a mystery shopper. It’s a great way to earn a living, but you will need to carry out a fair few mystery shopping assignments if you want to generate good money.
And if you have some or all of these characteristics then you are probably perfect for Grassroots Mystery Shopping. They are always on the lookout for people who can help them develop what they do. If you are interested, then take a look now.
What To Do Next
Once you have sent your application, then you will want to get mystery shopping. You want to start making money. But initially there really is only one thing to do. Wait. You must wait until they have processed your application. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for them to go through and make a decision, so you will soon be up and running as a Grassroots Mystery Shopping member soon enough.
I suggest you pause this article here and come back when your application is successful.
Welcome back. If you are now a member of the Grassroots Mystery Shopping community then congratulations. It’s great to have you with us! I have been signed up with these guys for a good few years now and always find them helpful. If you have any questions, then get on to them right away. The team at Grassroots Mystery Shopping are always on hand to answer your questions and set you on the right track.
So, now it’s time to take a look at the website. This is well built and easy to navigate so I’m sure you won’t have any problems at all. Let’s look at the site and the parts you need to know.
On the home page you will find a great deal of words. And it can look confusing when you first start working with the company. But it needn’t. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty then simply scroll to the bottom of the page. In a purple colour you will find the words ‘MYSTERY SHOPPER LOGIN’ and that’s where you click.
Enter your details and you will go through to a menu with the following options –
- Message Centre
- My Details
The Assignments Tab
Let’s look at these in a little more detail. The ‘Assignments’ tab has some subheadings. These are –
- Your scheduled assignments (the ones you already have to do in the near future)
- Your completed assignments (the ones you have done, and submitted the report for)
- Assignments currently available in your area (the interesting stuff!)
- Assignments no longer available (the ones you’ve missed out on)
Click on the tabs to see the different options. The ‘Assignments currently available in your area’ sub header is the one I go to first every time I’m on the site. It is the place where I can see if there is anything for me. You get the chance to set up to 5 addresses, and each of these will give certain options depending in availability, but we’ll look at that in more detail later on.
You can easily apply for an assignment by clicking on one in the ‘Assignments currently available in your area’ and selecting it. They will ask you the date you wish to carry it out and, if relevant, will assign it into your account. It really is as easy as that to get started with Grassroots Mystery Shopping.
The Message Centre
The second of the tabs is the Message Centre. Here you will find any messages that the Grassroots Mystery Shopping team send to you. They archive back for years so you can see what was sent to you over the last decade or so. But obviously it’s the recent messages that you want to concentrate on.
There is also a Message FAQ’s sub header where you van see what all of the terms mean. This helps when you are new to things and will save you picking up the phone to ask for answers to questions that are simple to respond to.
If it is a vital communication, then Grassroots Mystery Shopping will pick up the phone and speak to you directly. In my experience, the messages also come though on email, but this might depend on your data protection and contact preferences.
The ‘My Details’ tab does just what you’d expect. If you need to change your email address, physical address or phone number with the company then this is the place to do it. This allows you and the company to stay up to date with all your contact details, preferences, etc.
Plus, this is where you enter the addresses and availability you have. There is the option to add up to 5 addresses and state the days and times you are available on those dates. So, for example, if you work in London on weekdays 9-5 (do these jobs exist anymore?) then you can let the system know that’s when you are available. Select London, Morning, Lunchtime and Afternoon Monday to Friday. Then, if you live in Chelmsford, you can add this address for the evenings and weekends. The beauty of this system is that you get tailored results. Grassroots Mystery Shopping is one of the few mystery shopping companies that go to this level of detail.
In addition, there is an option to let Grassroots Mystery Shopping know that ypu are unavailable or on holiday. In the top right-hand corner, it says ‘Your Holidays & Unavailable Dates.’ Simply click ‘Edit’ and you can input these. Again, these are one of the few companies that allows such detail. It makes your life easier as a mystery shopper to be able to control your availability. And it can save an unnecessary phone call from them asking if you’re available to carry out an assignment.
And. Of course, you have your payment details stored here too. They are secure, and if you need to change then simply click on this tab.
There is a ‘Contact Us’ option on all of these pages. So, if you are not sure about anything going on, then just ask the company and they are great with their support. They are really good an answering queries and setting you on the right track, so don’t be afraid to drop them a line.
Welcome To Grassroots Mystery Shopping
Now that you have navigated your way through the site and are familiar with it, you are part of the team. Welcome! So, let’s start mystery shopping.
Go to the Assignments tab and look for a suitable assignment in your area. If you click ‘View Detail’ then it will tell you all about the mystery shopping assignment. It gives an assignment number, the type of visit, a location and an address. There are many other options on the screen, such as –
- Payment (fee and reimbursement if applicable)
- Assignment notes
- Contact us button
- Dates the assignment is available
- Important notes (overview of assignment)
And if you like the look of the assignment then click the date you want to carry it out on the calendar and then click ‘Confirm Acceptance’ which is below the calendar. Then it is your assignment! Congratulations!
Noe you need to thoroughly read the assignment notes. I would suggest a few times, starting with right away. This gives you ample opportunity to ask any questions that might arise. Many of the Grassroots Mystery Shopping notes are clear. But sometimes you might need a little clarification. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up and ask a question.
Then read the notes a day before your first assignment and again just before you leave for the actual assignment. This means it is fresh in your mind and you won’t miss anything. There can sometimes be a lot to remember. You can make notes on your phone or a scrap of paper as you go, but please don’t be obvious as a mystery shopper. You are there under cover, so need to be discrete at all times. This is the same with any mystery shopping company and with every assignment.
The Big Day
When it comes to your first assignment, you are bound to be nervous. I walked up and down in front of the building about 18 times before I entered for my first ever mystery shop assignment. It is a nervous thing – until you walk through the door. Then it just feels like a normal shopping experience. Don’t fret. It is a great way to help others. Remember that mystery shopping is all about helping companies. This means you are on their side. It isn’t the case that you are catching others out.
You should read the notes again before you go. It isn’t too late to call Grassroots Mystery Shopping and check anything that you’re not sure of. You should go with –
- Your phone (to take photos and as a stopwatch)
- The notes from the assignment
- The questionnaire
- A bright attitude
Remember that you need to be organised to succeed with mystery shopping.
Carry out your mystery shop assignment with Grassroots Mystery Shopping exactly as it states on the job notes. If you aren’t sure, then use the opportunity to pop to the loo or a fitting room to check the notes on your phone. I’d say never look at your questionnaire during the assignment, even if you think you’re out of sight. But you can make notes instead and have them handy in your pocket.
Completing The Report
I suggest that you fill out the report as soon as you can after completing the shop. Fill in the answers to the questions on the questionnaire you have printed out. This means you can double check any answers and won’t be wracking your brain later on, trying to recall an obscure fact.
Then you can transfer this information to the online form when you get home. I suggest completing the reports on a desktop or laptop. You can complete them on a phone or tablet, but these don’t feel quite so user-friendly to me.
The whole report will take around 5 to 15 minutes if you are good with technology, maybe a few minutes more if you type slowly. But many of the questions are yes/no so there aren’t usually places to complete huge areas of text. If you answer ‘no’ to a question, then you might have to add a little detail – but only a little.
Then click the button to submit.
What Happens Next?
The good people at Grassroots Mystery Shopping will take a look at your report. If they have any questions, then they will be in touch within a few days. This is just to maybe double-check an answer or to ask for a little more detail.
There are scenarios where you don’t get paid for a mystery shop. This is if you haven’t completed it properly or you haven’t given the right level of detail in the report. But they will contact you (sometimes by phone, sometimes by email) to ask for more detail in these cases. If you can’t fill in the blanks, then you run the risk of not being paid. It’s a tiny fraction of 1% of assignments. Make sure you’re not in this number. The company being shopped may look at the CCTV as part of the mystery shopping programme. Just a word of warning.
Grassroots Mystery Shopping are one of the better payers in terms of mystery shopping companies. The last thing you want is to be out of pocket. Here is their information regarding payments –
“All completed assignments must pass our quality control before being paid. We process payments twice a month, on the 1st and 15th of each month (or the nearest working day if these fall on a weekend or Bank Holiday), and you will usually receive your payment 3 to 4 weeks after completing an assignment.”
So, don’t worry if it isn’t there in a few days. It will take longer than that.
Grassroots Mystery Shopping
This is one of the better mystery shopping companies. And here’s why –
- Their assignments are plentiful and easy to follow
- The reports are easy to complete
- The payments are good and fairly prompt
- People love working with them
With all of this in mind, they are a good company to get involved with. If you love Market Force, then you’ll love Grassroots Mystery Shopping.