Shopper with an Eye

Wanna know the true meaning of work and play, jump into the world of mystery shopping.
Hate the security guy at the nearby mall? Noticed cockroaches hovering around in a restaurant? Unhappy with the sales staff behavior? Well, have I got a job cut out for you! Be a mystery shopper – just pay attention to the minutest of details, report it and earn some cool cash.

You can mystery shop for anything from theatres to banks, restaurants to retail stores. You’re trained and all you’ve to do is maintain your confidentiality.

What is Mystery Shopping?
“Mystery shopping is where a potential customer to any service or brand is sent in to evaluate the store for its ambience, sales, facilities, service and anything that is additional to that particular service,” says Bhairavi Sagar, Head of Bare Associates India Pvt. Ltd, an agency specializing in these services. In short, all the mystery shopper has to do is jot down the details he/she observes in a form, which in turn is handed over to the client.

You gotta have:
Bhairavi Sagar says, “You’ve to be internet savvy. Don’t do it for money, because we’re not looking to promote it as a primary means of income. We look for shoppers who are in it because they enjoy doing it.”

An eye for detail (spot the name tags and the worms), patience to go through an entire round of evaluation and being well versed in English comes in handy for the mystery shopper.

What do I’ve to do anyways?
Let’s take a coffee shop to describe what you have to do:

 – You walk in. Your first custom interaction begins with the security guard, if there is one present at the door. See whether he greeted you or not and if he was well groomed or not.
 – As you settle down, did a server come and greet you? If the coffee shop was self service then was the display board attractive.
 – How long did it take for you to place the order? How long did it take to arrive? Did the person at the counter mention a scheme, or give you details on add-ons? How was the cash transaction carried out?
 – The facilities and ambience need to be evaluated. Was the temperature of the A/C comfortable? Are the floors, glass windows and doors clean and well maintained?

See, it’s quite a job! Your work can range from one hour to six hours depending on the kind of store or service, as well as the client. Bhairavi adds that such an experience helps you tremendously. How? “Once you become a mystery shopper, in turn you become a better consumer.”

What’s in it for me?
You can easily earn between Rs 8,000 – 10,000 a month by just filling in an online form with various objective and subjective questions. For some establishments you may be required to go and purchase products because the cash transaction also needs to be evaluated. For such shops you’ll get reimbursed for the purchase that you make. So you get paid to shop! Aha!

And don’t worry, your job doesn’t hurt the employees – it’s not like they get fired. These reports are used by the employers to improve their training and quality of service and to learn in which areas they need to improve.

How does it all work out?
Your resume is scanned to see whether you have the right background. Bare Associates gives preference to people who are working or at least have some prior working experience. You are then given a FAQ asking you to register on their website which is for FREE.

The shopper’s performance is graded on his/ her report which has to be filled online within 24 hours after visiting the retail outlet. Your grammar, punctuation and how well you are able to put down the answers when it comes to interaction is what matters.

And yeah, if you’re a cynic, then this is not the work for you. Bhairavi adds, “We get some reports sometimes saying that everything is wrong with the establishment; that cannot be true. We don’t take such reports seriously. We want people who are well balanced.”

Mystery Shopping can, at best, be a secondary source of income. Unless you’re hooked to it and actually do an excellent job – then perhaps you can look at it as a long term profession. One last thing, don’t take it up for freebies alone. It’s a lot of hard work.

If you are interested then get going and email your resumes to ntrivedi@baiservices.com. People ALL OVER INDIA can apply.

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