From the state-of-the-art Samsung folding phone to Advanced Computer Trends, many people around the world are fascinated by technology. As a former trainer for Best Buy employees representing six electronic firms, I try to maintain intelligence of emerging fields and apply them to my work environment today.
If you relish cutting-edge smart phone apps or couldn’t imagine life without tech, mystery shopping in technology fields could be your calling. Companies like Ipsos, See Level, Jancyn, The Source are great spots for opportunities. (Please visit those links to register for jobs with those companies.)
Simply scanning competitive prices with your device, pretending to purchase smart phones, computers or appliances, or scheduling a visit from a tech company can be an easy avenue for financial gain and entertainment.
Key elements to successful technology shops:
- Proper Representation
- Educational Opportunity
- Objective and Perspective Viewpoints
- Attention to Detail, Timely Reporting, and Accuracy
First “good” companies will give you guidelines to follow. Will you be a shopper or temporary company representative?
As a quality mystery shopper you must represent yourself as the guidelines direct you.
You may get a letter to hand a manager.
Sometimes you are permitted to have knowledge about advanced merchandise and discuss with associates. Often you are required to pose as a typical patron with limited product information during the shop.
Be careful not to blow your identity…
Generally you can not be a typical client telling a store employee what he or she should know.
Many companies will tell you to visit websites and become familiar with specific brands before going to a location or shopping online.
Some companies require short test before you are allowed to apply for the shop.
I look at these as an opportunity to learn new things and utilize them for the shop as well as my own life.
If you have conducted any mystery shop, you probably know that some questions can be answered with a yes/no or defined answer while others require your view of the events that happened.
Do not volunteer your opinion of associates, stores, devices…only provide data if challenged to do so by the mystery shop company or the scheduler that has hired you for the job. Confidentiality is a must. Companies may use the information you provide to create better items, devise innovative features or even the elimination of entire lines.
Did the associate hand you the phone or did you pick it up? Sounds harmless to answer wrong on a shop questionnaire, but the associates job may depend on whether you answer truthfully.
I can not stress enough the importance of reporting your mystery shop findings before deadlines. This will impact future jobs from any company and it is a great business practice to follow to be on time or early.
With the advent of cameras at stores, and recorded phone calls, your lack of accuracy in reporting could jeopardize your mystery shop payments as well. Recently I conducted an in store phone mystery shop, and because the time stamp on the stores’ video camera was wrong I almost did not get paid. Thankfully the photos I took had elements to prove me correct.
Finally more information is always a good thing. If you are required to get a business card or photo, get an extra picture or two, or a brochure from the location. Generally speaking if a scheduler questions you and you are able to provide an extra photo, brochure or descriptive elements (he wore a red sweater vest)…your pay check tends to come a lot faster.
James Edward Montgomery is a professional mystery shopper and company brand ambassador. With over 30 years experience in both fields he writes from practical experience and hails from the SW Virginia area.