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The information obtained in mystery shopping reports allows business to monitor performance of one location when compared to another, or how performance of same location has improved over time.
Mystery shopping is also valuable for sentinel effect. When employees know that they will be mystery shopped—but they don’t know when or by whom—they will give every customer excellent service. This is especially true when results of mystery shops are used in employee performance evaluations.
The Need for Mystery Shoppers Today's business environment is extremely competitive. Companies that fail to provide excellent service will not survive. Studies show that a satisfied customer will tell three other people about his experience. A dissatisfied customer will tell ten to twelve people. All too often, though, customer won’t tell business owner or manager.
Not only do companies face loss of business from poor service, actions of their employees may cause them to be sued by customers or fined by government. With so much at stake, mystery shoppers provide a valuable service by identifying potential problems business owner can correct before they result in a major liability.
Who Are Mystery Shoppers? Because mystery shoppers look like typical customers (and are, in most ways, typical customers) almost anyone can become a mystery shopper. Shoppers may be any (adult) age, male or female. They may be employed, self-employed, unemployed, students, retired or full time homemakers.
What makes mystery shoppers different from other customers is that they want to help improve customer service and make some extra money while doing so, and they are specially prepared to evaluate businesses and report their findings.
Many shoppers get into this business because it is fun. They love to get perks, such as "free" food and merchandise, and even make a little money while they're getting this free stuff! Although mystery shopping can be fun, it is a business and you will have important responsibilities as a mystery shopper.
If you are interested in working flexible, part time hours, and getting paid to shop, eat and more while providing an important service to businesses, mystery shopping may be for you.
Copyright Cathy Stucker. As a trainer and author of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual, Cathy Stucker has helped thousands of people become successful professional shoppers. Sign up for her free e-mail course on mystery shopping at http://www.idealady.com/shopping.htm.