Shopping For A Living by blogroyaltyuniverse


									Shopping for a Living
Posted by admin On December 10, 2009 2:14 AM

When others are buried under files in the stifling cubicles of their office, I am out shopping. No, not on
weekends, I am out on all working days. You must be wondering about who I am. Well, I am a mystery

Cutting down the cloak and dagger stuff, let us get down to facts. Actually there is not much mystery to mystery shopping . A multi
billion booming industry now, mystery shopping traces its origins to the early 40s.

Commonly used by retail owners and restaurants, mystery shopping services are increasingly being availed by a variety of industries.
And as with other marketing concepts, mystery shopping too has carved itself a significant niche on internet as well. Also known as
mystery shopping , the procedure involves a bogus client visiting the establishment concerned. Usually a hard to please client, he
does the Sherlock Holmes act all the time during his visit to the business. Well trained for such mystery shopping assignments, he is
well equipped with questionnaires and other stratagems aimed at a specific scenario. He may carry modern gadgets supplied by the
company to gather specific information, and these gadgets include audio-video material as well.

A Day In The Office
Like in other jobs, a mystery shopping professional starts the day with a review of tasks for the day. He may have a single
assignment or multiple assignments distributed all over the day. Dressed to shop, he takes stock of his tools. These would be the
questionnaires and other knickknacks provided by the company.

Revising the script for his role play he proceeds to his destination. Once there, he transforms himself to all appearance as a
nondescript client. Already informed of what to look for, he gathers information while he makes a purchase or receive services,
whatever he is told to do. A successful assignment is one where he is able to procure all the information that he was asked to collect.
The purchases that he may make are already paid for. In addition to this, he pockets his own fees.

The Evidence
The data collected by this anonymous shopper ranges from minute details about the products and services to a detailed
description of the quality of services experienced during the transaction. This data may be analysed or sent as it is to the
parent company who had asked for the service.

Frequently measured aspects of quality are seating arrangements, client care, cleanliness, presentation, problem resolution etc. A
mystery shopper may be trained to ask specific questions in order to measure specific deliverables. Commonly, mystery shoppers are
required to register details like the name of the employee who received the shopper, how deftly he closed the sale, how promptly and
how warmly the shopper was received and how soon upon entering the premises was he invited to revisit, how willingly the employee
registered a complaint, etc.

Many frauds attached with mystery shopping have been reported too. Frauds involving cashing a check are common. Those
considering mystery shopping as a job need to tread with caution. It is useful to know is that a genuine mystery shopping company
does not ask for a registration fee. Neither do they send checks to cash before the completion of an assignment. Many genuine jobs
of a mystery shopper, however, are administered completely via the internet and registration is mostly free. Authenticity of any such
company is for the job seeker to confirm.

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