Overview: If you’re an eyeglass wearer, be sure to indicate that if asked when you are signing up with a new mystery shopping company. That way you will be sure to qualify for available assignments in the optical industry. It’s a great way to earn a fee, and/or to get reimbursed for an exam or new glasses.
Project Variations: There are four basic scenarios. The first is the easiest. With this scenario, you visit an optical shop to inquire about new lenses. The second scenario involves getting an eye exam. The third scenario involves getting an exam and purchasing eyeglasses.
The fourth scenario is similar to the third, but the shopper returns the glasses to the client for evaluation. In a buy one get one variation on this, the shopper gets to keep the second pair of glasses.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: The inquiry for lenses takes the least amount of time, about 15 minutes on-site, and about the same for the report. The eye exam visit can take 30 to 45 minutes, with about 30 minutes of reporting. The combo scenarios of exam and eyeglasses purchase can take up to an hour or so on-site, with a similar amount of time spent on the report.
Strategies: For the lens inquiry assignment, be sure to listen to what the associate tells you about the lenses. The client will want you to report on what benefits were mentioned, how their prices compare to their competitors, and how long it will take to get the completed lenses. Also note the name and description of the associate. Get a business card to jot down details. Many times these will require a small purchase, such as a glass cleaner, as proof of visit.
The eye exam takes more time. Usually these require you to set up an appointment ahead of time. The client will be interested in how soon the optical shop was able to get you in for an exam, if your exam was on time, how you were greeted by the receptionist, and details about your interactions during the exam itself. Include any details about whether the technician wanted to add on additional tests and why they told you they were necessary.
The combo assignments take the longest. In addition to providing the information about the exam as previously outlined, your report should include some narrative about your interactions with associates in the eyewear area of the store. Details will be required about what type of features and options the associate offered, if you were given a firm price quote, and the overall demeanor and level of professionalism displayed by the associate.
What Others Have to Say: Most shoppers on www.mysteryshopforum.com appreciate the combo assignments that provide the shoppers with a partially reimbursed pair of glasses that they get to keep. Not so favorable is the variation on that in which the shopper needs to return the glasses to the client and doesn’t get to keep them. The initial outlay of several hundred dollars in return for only a small fee is not appealing.
Estimated Pay: Pay is typically $10 to $15 for an assignment requiring a simple inquiry about lenses. Assignments involving optical exams usually have a nominal fee of $5 to $15, and are reimbursed from $40 to $50. The combo assignments of an exam and purchase of eyeglasses can pay $20 and be reimbursed from $100 to $150.
MSCs: Some of the mystery shopping companies that conduct evaluations in the optical industry are Beyond Hello, Service Check, and About Face.