Confessions of a Hotel Mystery Shopper

Unveiling the Secrets of Mystery Shopping: How to Become a Secret Shopper and Thrive in the Industry

Are you a shopaholic seeking a new adventure? Or perhaps you are a savvy consumer who wants to make a difference in the retail world? Look no further than the intriguing world of mystery shopping! In this blog post, we will dive into the concept of mystery shopping, explore the role of mystery shopping companies, and provide you with essential tips on how to become a successful secret shopper.

What is Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping, also known as secret shopping, is a form of market research where individuals, known as mystery shoppers, visit establishments such as retail stores, restaurants, or hotels to assess the quality of service and customer experience. Mystery shoppers are provided with specific instructions on what to observe and evaluate during their visits, including aspects like cleanliness, employee behavior, product knowledge, and overall satisfaction.

Why Businesses Rely on Mystery Shopping Companies

Businesses across industries recognize the valuable insights gained from mystery shopping and often collaborate with specialized mystery shopping companies. These companies act as intermediaries between businesses and mystery shoppers, handling the logistics, instructions, and compensation. Mystery shopping companies offer a range of services, including customer experience audits, competitor analysis, and employee training assessment. By utilizing the services of these companies, businesses gain objective feedback that helps them identify areas of improvement in their operations, customer service, and employee training.

Becoming a Mystery Shopper

Now that you’re intrigued, how can you become a mystery shopper? Here are some essential steps to get you started:

1. Research Mystery Shopping Companies: Begin by researching reputable mystery shopping companies online. Look for legitimate companies with a history of positive reviews and reliable payment systems. Some well-known mystery shopping companies include Intouch Insight, Market Force, and Sinclair Customer Metrics.

2. Sign Up: Visit the websites of the chosen companies and sign up as a potential mystery shopper. You will typically need to create an account, provide relevant personal information, and complete a profile questionnaire detailing your preferences, demographics, and experience.

3. Get Certified: Some mystery shopping companies may require you to complete a certification course before accepting assignments. These courses provide essential training on how to conduct successful mystery shops, adhere to guidelines, and deliver accurate reports.

4. Assignments and Compensation: Once you have completed your registration and any necessary certifications, you will have access to a database of available assignments. Select the ones that interest you and align with your preferences. Compensation varies depending on the assignment, complexity, and location, and can include reimbursements for purchases made during the visit.

5. Conduct Your Mystery Shop: Follow the detailed instructions provided by the mystery shopping company carefully. Pay attention to specific criteria, take detailed notes during your visit, and discreetly assess the required areas. Maintain the utmost professionalism and objectivity throughout the process.

6. Submit Your Report: After your visit, document your observations, experiences, and any required photographic evidence. Submit your report promptly, ensuring accuracy and attention to detail. Timely submission is crucial, as it allows the company to address any issues promptly.

7. Repeat and Progress: As you gain experience, build a reputation as a reliable and detail-oriented mystery shopper. This can lead to more frequent and higher-paying assignments, as well as potential partnerships with preferred companies.


Mystery shopping offers an exciting opportunity to explore hidden corners of the retail world while helping businesses refine their customer experiences. By working with reputable mystery shopping companies, you can embark on a rewarding journey of evaluation, critique, and improvement. So why not unlock the secrets of mystery shopping and become a secret shopper today?

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