Mystery shoppers were first employed in the 1940s as a mechanism to measure employee integrity. Tools used for secret shopping assessments are generally simple questionnaires. Most secret shopper companies administer through the Internet, allowing potential mystery shoppers to register for participation and find mystery shopping jobs online.
Methods of a Secret Shopper
Secret shoppers are often given assignments to simply test the service skills of the employees. Some of the common things secret shoppers will be looking for include:
- How long it takes before the secret shopper is greeted
- How was the secret shopper treated during their visit at the location
- Cleanliness of location and employees
- Quality and taste of meal served
- Selection of products/food and prices
- Speed and efficiency of service
After the visit, the secret shopper will then submit their opinions about their shopping experience. That information is then reviewed and analyzed by the business to find areas in their service that need improvement.
The most common venues for a mystery shop are retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants, fast food chains, banks, gas stations, car dealerships, health clubs, and more. Virtually any context where there is a customer/business interaction is open to mystery shopping.