Experiences of Mystery Shoppers

During a long-term collaboration with the Skrivnostni nakup d.o.o. company, I gained a lot of valuable experience in the following areas; getting to know the range of products (e.g. Canopy garage doors, building materials, playing at the casino, furniture purchases, household appliances, audio-visual equipment, mobile telephone technology, clothing, footwear, and cars), shop floor maintenance and services, and administrative responsibilities including, but not limited to, banking and insurance. It was a very people friendly company that greatly developed my communication and interpersonal skills.

Mystery shopping is not just additional income for me; I take the role very seriously. Responsibility in this role is essential as the consequences of incorrect observations could damage not only; a company’s reputation and therefore sales, but also my integrity as a mystery shopper.

Z.K., Koroška

Being a mystery shopper is a responsible and serious job which gives the shopper extensive and rich experience in purchasing, that can also be used in life’s decision making moments. With our work we are helping to develop and to improve the business processes in companies who contract our services. In reality we all benefit from this process; mystery shoppers, companies, and most of all, the consumer.

S.P., Štajerska

I was delighted that I was accepted as a mystery shopper. It is a flexible role which allows you to sign up for as many, or as little, assignments that you can complete within the specified times. It is recommended that you rate the assignment immediately after the evaluation, and not wait until the last day. I always plan an evaluation in such a way that, I can write the evaluation report immediately. After the evaluation is assigned to you, you have to read the instructions thoroughly, so that you know exactly what you are going to be evaluating, e.g. the retail store, the bank office, and/or the shop assistants or employees. When you enter the retail store you must behave as if you are interested in purchasing a certain product, or service that the company offers. You must allow the employee to present you with the product or service that you request, even if you are already familiar with it. Your evaluation of an employee must be objective. You must be precise, consistent and correct, and never base your evaluations on their likeability. You must not base your evaluations on your personal emotions; i.e. your report should be based on fact and be a description of the situation as it happened.

I have gained a lot of knowledge while doing this work, particularly in the automotive and banking sectors.

A.K., Štajerska

Working as a mystery shopper is interesting and fun, but also serious and very responsible. I pay a lot of attention to detail and am only happy when everything goes well. For example; when employees are friendly and informative, providing me with the advantages of the products we are interested in, and so on. These situations give me the most satisfaction as I can give them credit for their job well done and a good review. I find it difficult when the employee does not relate to the shopper in the expected way; e.g. impolite reception, no greeting, doesn’t offer the product you’re interested in, etc. We all have our ups and downs, even employees, and this can be reflected during our visit. This needs to be considered when doing the evaluation and writing the report, so as not to be unfair to the employee, which could affect their career and consequently their life. That is why a mystery shopper must be reliable and objective, and should be aware of the consequences that may arise due to his/her actions.

B.S., Goriška

The purpose of a mystery shopper is to increase the quality of retail sales, through evaluation of the service and/or products being offered. Their feedback is then used to improve the quality of said services and/or products. This will lead to more satisfied shoppers that are more likely to become repeat customers, and who will endorse the establishment to their family and friends. This word of mouth advertising should consequently increase customer turnover and annual profit. We achieve healthier competition when everybody participates.

M.G., Dolenjska

Working as a mystery shopper is not as easy as some would like to believe. It is a very responsible and serious job. You have to be very attentive and resourceful. You need to be able to observe the people and surroundings you are evaluating while being friendly and engaging the employee in conversation. When doing Mystery Shopping you must be a good “actor”; i.e. you must get into the role and “play the part” you were given by the Mystery Shopping Agency. Immediately afterwards, the mystery shopper needs to complete a report form reliably and accurately. As well as having good writing skills, you need to be proficient in grammar and spelling, as the fee paid to the mystery shopper is based on the complete work submitted.

S.B., Osrednja Slovenija

Have you ever purchased your dream car? I have. I purchased it, but I did not buy it.

I’m sure I’ll buy my dream car someday soon, and when I do I will be 100% prepared, and that will be down to the experience I gained a mystery shopper.

It was a great experience. I had to be well prepared, so that I was able to perform my role perfectly without any mistakes. The scenario was quite complicated, so I rehearsed it mentally many times before getting to the dealership. When D-day came, I stepped on “stage” and played a “role”. This is the best part of the job, but also the most difficult. You have to get yourself in character for the role and make a flawless performance, so no one will question whether your purchasing intentions are genuine or not. You have to have a good memory and great observation skills, as you must mentally record everything and at the same time remain impersonal and impartial. Afterwards, the mystery shopper completes a report form that has to be accurate and honestly reflects the buying experience. This is why it is essential to read the questions before the “performance”, so that you are focused on the required details.

I decided to become a mystery shopper, because I was unknowingly exposed to them for years. I never found out who these customers were. I’m sure they were as good and professional as I am today. I see my job as a pleasant one that offers plenty of satisfaction, opportunities to learn about new products, and opportunities to test excellent cars, etc. However, it also requires a person who is serious about their job and can deliver information to the client with precision and professionalism.

I am an ordinary person just like you, there is nothing special about me, and that is what makes me a successful, but very mysterious shopper. As consumers, we have an expectation that providers of goods and services always treat us with the right attitude, and that they are friendly and polite, because our decision to buy or not depends on their performance. It is essential that managers know who their best sellers are. With the help of the Skrivnostni nakup d.o.o. agency, and us (ordinary people who know how to buy a dream car), the new era of the excellent salesperson is assured.

B.P., Goriška

I like being a customer. I like buying things that I choose, and buy or evaluate well during the sale process. In accordance to available projects, I decide where and what I will buy.

From all my previous purchases I have learned a lot; how to distinguish a good or a weak seller, what attracts me in a store to purchase, and/or what puts me off from the purchase, and how to prepare a quality and useful report on the purchase to help achieve better standards in sales. We can all benefit from these experiences in our everyday lives. All of us are, in one way or another, “sellers”. In short, being a mystery shopper is not just interesting, but also educational.

J.T., Goriška

From mystery shopping, I’ve learned to recognize many fine details, that I hadn’t paid any attention to before, but in fact have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. I’ve become more impartial, and have learned not to let any situation push me over the edge, i.e. I separate my own personal reactions and preferences from each interaction with an employee during an evaluation. Every purchase is a collaboration in which all the parties carry their share of responsibility. I may have become a better customer due to this fact, and I find that many times the mystery shopping process teaches us useful lessons for our everyday lives.
I feel my work contributes to the improvement of services. The evaluations are based on a standardized list of questions, and in that way prevent us treating an employee unfairly. The questions require serious and extensive responses from the mystery shopper. Objective and constructive assessment opens the possibility for dialogue, which can lead to changes for the better.

T.G., Osrednja Slovenija

I undertake all my mystery shopping assignments with the utmost seriousness and responsibility, and am always well-prepared. I always keep in mind the employee who is being evaluated and the impact that my report could have on their career. A positive approach is essential for an objective evaluation.

D.S., Obala

The job of a mystery shopper is like an adventure, you’re an undercover detective and must perform a complex acting role. As a mystery shopper I learned how to be more observant of both my surroundings and, of course, people and how their behaviors often reveal more than words. I found out what I had suspected; that in Slovenia there is a drastic shortage of people who are aware of how the services sector works, and what is actually a quality service that will ensure customer returns. The fact that our shops, banks and other service providers began regularly using the services of mystery shoppers proves that the collective level mindset is changing. I undertook this type of work primarily because I wanted to contribute to progress within the service industry. With this detailed assessment of the shopping experience, I wanted to help the client to identify their weaknesses with customer relations. The customer is, after all, always right. Only when a person takes on the role of a mystery shopper, do they begin to realize how responsible their role is. This is because you must remember all the practical details of the experience and detect the smallest hints as to the mood of the salesman, in order to give the seller the most objective assessment of his work. The report can have a serious impact on the seller’s life, so; alertness, calmness, good memory and a good ability to express yourself are very important qualities to have. I often caught myself inwardly cheering for the seller and positive reviews practically wrote themselves. I feel sorry if I have to write a negative report. The work of a mystery shopper is demanding, but also extremely gratifying, because we silently change some of the core values of society.

Z.K., Osrednja Slovenija

For quite some time I thought about the idea of working as a mystery shopper. I had thought it would be very complicated to become one, so I never did any research on it. Then a friend of mine told me what to do and I sent the application in. Eventually I was invited to participate. I had to write a test report and then go on a free training course. The course was both interesting and instructive. It was not difficult, and I was looking forward to starting work by the end of it. During my first mystery task I realized that it’s not just shopping. In fact, you have to be a very good observer, and must pay attention to many things because the questionnaires are very extensive, in the most part. So I would advise people, that you should only become mystery shoppers if you can be precise, organized and conscientious.

I wish you good luck in this type of work! I still find it a pleasure, and the questionnaires sometimes give me ideas on how to behave at my other job.

S.K., Štajerska

At first working as a mystery shopper for me was a fun hobby, but eventually, this hobby has grown into something more. Above all, I had the opportunity to get an insight into exactly what successful companies expect from their sales employees. As an employee in the sales department, where I have daily contact with customers, I can meet the expectations of customers faster and have a better relationship with the customer, etc. As a mystery shopper, with over fifty completed evaluations, I know what kind of service I can expect in particular stores, banks, etc.

D.N., Gorenjska