There are many questions that come up repeatedly on www.mysteryshopforum.com that will be compiled in a series of articles here in the Mystery Shopping Magazine. We hope that this will be a convenient resource for you to find the answers you are looking for regarding the tips and techniques and tools used in this business.
“KEEPING THE MYSTERY IN MYSTERY SHOPPING”
FAQ: What should I tell others about my mystery shopping work? The less the better in most cases. There are many reasons, but the prevailing one has to do with not creating competition for yourself.
There are a finite amount of assignments to go around. If you start telling everyone about your mystery shopping endeavors, chances are you will cultivate someone eager and willing to compete with you for those jobs. And the people you tell about mystery shopping may tell others, who then may tell even more people.
No successful business person is going to hand over his list of clients and vendors that he has worked so hard to acquire through his own efforts. Nor should you. As a mystery shopper, you are a business owner. You have put in a lot of time to develop your relationships with mystery shopping companies and to prove yourself to them. That’s worth something, and it shouldn’t be given away for free.
Check out some of the horror stories on the Mystery Shopper Forum if you have any doubts about friends and acquaintances having qualms about reducing your potential income.
Times are tough. More and more people are grasping for alternative opportunities to earn money. This has led to an influx of interest in mystery shopping. When people get desperate financially, friendships can be secondary.
Only discuss mystery shopping with others if you fully understand that you may be putting both your business and your relationships at risk.
FAQ: What if I am asked directly about how to get started with mystery shopping? Being discreet to preserve your business does not preclude helping others. You can still point someone in the right direction by telling them about available resources such as the Mystery Shopper Forum and the lists of companies available for free elsewhere on the internet.
If they have the initiative and determination to make mystery shopping a successful endeavor for themselves, they will then use that information to start developing their own business, just as you had to when you started out. There is no reason someone should expect a ready-made business to simply be handed over to them. If they don’t have what it takes to do the required research, the probability is that they don’t have what it takes to be a successful mystery shopper.
FAQ: So what do I tell others when they ask me what I do for a living? Take your pick, as there are dozens of titles that shoppers adopt. These include but are not limited to: professional service analyst, independent service evaluator, market researcher, corporate compliance auditor, marketing consultant, quality control consultant, business evaluator, customer service auditor, brand compliance inspector, industry analyst, corporation consultant, and my favorite, operational compliance evaluator.
It really doesn’t matter which title you choose. Just keep it vague and boring to avoid further questions.