Mystery Shopping Jobs - Is it for You?
by Sam Parker
According to conventional wisdom "There's no such thing as a free lunch". That's
generally true BUT...there is a way to really have a free lunch and also get
paid for it! This is so awesome that people can hardly believe it! They are
skeptical at first but they are so glad after they give it a try.
Most of us don't know it but we can earn money for many of the activities we do
everyday: eating in restaurants, shopping in stores, enjoying a movie at your
local theater or playing golf!
In the U.S. over 700,000 people are paid every day for such "jobs". It is called
What is Mystery Shopping?
Simply put, mystery shopping is very much like everyday shopping, but for money!
You just need to be attentive to some details during your shopping trip and to
report them to the mystery shopping company that hires you. Doing so, you can
get paid for eating out at first-class restaurants, shopping at the mall,
staying at hotels, and even going to the movies.
A fast growing industry
Mystery shopping is a prospering business and more and more companies are
relying on shoppers' anonymous feedback to determine how they can improve customer service.
In an article entitled "Spies like us; Mystery shoppers keep eye on customer
service" (The Washington Times, July 2004) we can learn that mystery shopping
has become a "critical marketing tool" used by companies to develop customer loyalty:
"Consumers have more choices than ever before. The smart companies realize they
can compete by creating an optimized customer experience."
More companies are relying on shoppers' anonymous feedback to determine how they
can improve customer service, which plays an important role in business transactions.
"If the customer has had a bad experience, they're going to go somewhere else,"
said Jeff Marr, Vice President of Walker Information, which provides research on
customer loyalty. "When it comes to retailing, you're only as good as your last interaction."
The mystery shopping industry has grown over the past decade as more companies -
from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies - have tried to focus more
heavily on customer service, officials say. Companies such as McDonald's,
Starbucks, Home Depot, Kinko's and Giant Food are just a handful of the
companies that use mystery shoppers.
The industry has expanded from typical service-oriented clients - such as
restaurants, retailers and hotels - to industries such as banks, insurance
companies, car dealerships, funeral homes and apartment buildings.