Contacting Mystery Shopping Providers
After completing your research on mystery shopping it is best to narrow down which market research companies or Mystery Shopping Providers best suit your work goals. The next step in becoming a mystery shopper is to contact these companies about your interest in a position.
Getting in Touch
Because of their prevalence online, contacting a Mystery Shopping Provider isn’t difficult. Many have online forms for requesting information and are very good about sending information and materials to interested parties.
Some Mystery Shopping Providers will set up a time for you to speak with someone over the phone. This allows you to ask all the un-answered questions you have regarding mystery shopping without first committing to a program or joining a database. Of course, most providers welcome any phone calls or emails about the mystery shopping process and are more than willing to speak with you over the phone in order to ensure you feel comfortable about the process. Most of these processes however, can be completed online without having to speak with anyone. These online forms ask for your contact information, any previous experiences and skills that will make you a good mystery shopper.
If you don’t have any previous experiences as a mystery shopper, don’t worry. Many successful shoppers never had any previous experience in shopping. The best thing you can do in this case is to outline the skills and experiences you do have that are also good qualities for mystery shoppers. Any retail experience is valuable to mention because it means that you understand business and consumer relationships. Hospitality experience or any job history where you may have worked in a place that could potentially be mystery shopped is a great area of your job history to highlight. This means if you have ever worked in a bank, theatre, gym, retail store or any business that might be mystery shopped, means you understand the other side of mystery shopping. This knowledge of business helps you to be a better shopper and Mystery Shopping Providers consider this when hiring.
Any social or special skills you may have are important to include in the information you send Mystery Shopping Providers. If for instance, you were a swimmer in college a provider might be more likely to pick you for an assignment that involves shopping a retail store that supplies materials for swimmers. As such, any job history is a potential leg-up for future mystery shopping jobs. Also, be sure to highlight leadership and other social skills that show you are a good worker and are likely to be a good mystery shopper.
After contacting the Mystery Shopping Provider, you will likely receive an email saying your request for information or application has been received. In many cases this simple step has already added you to a database of shoppers. Your location, age and special skills are entered into the Providers database of potential shoppers. If there is a business in your area that needs a shopper and you fit the bill, you may be contacted with potential work right way. If this is the case, a customer service representative will contact you about job specifics and to talk you through your mystery shopping experience.
Others will have someone call you to arrange a phone, or in-person interview. These variances greatly depend on your application and the provider you choose to apply with. There is no real harm in applying to several providers at once. This increases your chances of finding work as a shopper and ultimately expands your knowledge of the industry based on the training materials and information these providers send you.
After contacting a provider, it is a good idea to follow through with them after a week or so from receiving their email or phone call. Good communication is an important skill for mystery shoppers and being in good communication with your provider from the beginning is a great way to start off the relationship.