How to Make Extra Money in Tough Economic Times – Mystery Shopping
Written by Gnana Ramanathan
The term ‘mystery shopping’ may sound mysterious, but there is definitely no mystery behind it. Mystery shopping or secret shopping refers to the technique used by stores, restaurants, corporations etc wherein they send shoppers to their own business place and ask them to evaluate the service rendered by the employees. Employers cannot always be at their business and hence cannot fully assure whether their employees meet the service standards. By using mystery shoppers, employers can assess the standards of their employees and utilise the response given by the mystery shopper to improve their customer service.
Mystery shopping is used by restaurants, retail/grocery stores, automotive industries, services, hotels etc. Generally, anyone can apply to become a mystery shopper. They then have to undergo training and complete certification to qualify for mystery shopping. During the training process, the shopper would be taught what to observe at the store or restaurant, how to interact with the staff and how to report their findings. The shopper would need to report their exact findings without giving way to their own personal prejudices.
Generally, mystery shoppers can decide what places they want to visit and report. They will be given detailed instructions as to what they need to buy at the store, what they need to observe for and how the store employees react to certain situations. They will shop or dine like regular shoppers and then need to report their experience to the company which hired them in a prescribed format provided to them. After they complete their report they will be compensated for their work. Generally, this work may take up about an hour and compensation differs from company to company.
Mystery shopping can be fun and rewarding as you get to shop or eat for free and offer your unbiased opinions which will help in improving customer service. But you need to be aware of some scams in mystery shopping where you may be asked to wire money by moneygram or where you spend your own money at the store but then are not refunded after you submit the report. So, always research about the company before accepting to take up an assignment. Even though you could search for such companies online, surveyscout.com gives a compiled list of many such mystery shopping companies. For a small fee, you could get not only list of mystery shopping companies but also survey opportunities. You could earn back this small fee within no time.
Gnana Ramanathan is an internet marketer who works from home. She does affiliate marketing and writes articles and blogs about making money using the computer. She is also an internet entrepreneur, specialising in home decor