Mystery shopping is something that you can pick up quite easily. You have to apply to a mystery shopping company, but if you get my book The Secrets of Mystery Shopping: How To Become a Mystery Shopperthen you can deal with that without any hassle at all. When you begin mystery shopping, there are a few things that can cause an issue. Being spotted by a member of staff could cause an issue. Here is my guide to what to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper. And we will also look at how to overcome any potential issues that surround this.
When I carried out a mystery shop in a well-known public house chain this Saturday I thought I was being discrete. After I visited the bar and returned to my son, another customer came over and said that the people at the bar thought I was a mystery shopper. It made me think about how I carry out my mystery shops. I wondered, as many others do, what to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper and decided to write a few tips here.
Prepare well in advance
The best way to avoid needing to know what to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper is to not get spotted in the first place. I know I couldn’t have made a more obvious statement if I tried. But there are steps you can take to lessen the chance you are spotted –
- Know where you are going
- Read and re-read the assignment notes so you don’t need to refer to them during an assignment
- Be confident in what you do
- Don’t make notes when you are in the location
- Take your photograph of the location after the visit, not before
All of these will help you to be less conspicuous as a mystery shopper. What to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper becomes less of an issue if you can look like any other customer.
Stand your ground – spotted as a mystery shopper
If someone says to you, “are you a mystery shopper?” then the worst thing to do is admit it. Your mystery shopping company will probably invalidate your report and not pay you. There are so many better things to say –
- “What’s one of them?”
- “A mystery shopper? What’s that all about?”
- “Tell me more.”
- “I’d like to be”
- Or just a plain old, “no!”
What to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper
These will put the staff member in the position where they either continue and risk upsetting a customer, or they back down and apologise. You may look back and think that you could have acted differently – use that s a learning for the next time. You might even choose to stay away from that particular location in the future. If you understand what to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper then you have a greater chance of protecting your income from that mystery shop.
Keep calm and carry on!
I know – I hate that slogan too now it has been overused. Knowing what to do if you get spotted as a mystery shopper can help to keep you calm and composed. Don’t worry about things. Just act like a normal customer and get on with what you have to do. Most mystery shopping assignments are over in a matter of a few minutes. The embarrassment won’t last long if this is how you feel.
The staff members are there to give you great service, so tell them you have no idea what they are talking about and let them get on with looking after you. If they still have thoughts that you might be a mystery shopper then the service will probably be excellent from then on. They just won’t want to take the risk!
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