It sounds really strange after over four years of mystery shopping for ten different companies that I an nervous about the mystery shop I'm due to complete tonight. I haven't kept an exact count that I can easily lay my hands right now but I estimate that I've completed around 1,000 mystery shops and this is the first one since the very early days that I've felt apprehensive and pressured to get things absolutely exact. That's not to say I'm usually imprecise but many of the mystery shop companies I use ask for general ideas -
*was the floor clean?
*were you served quickly?
*was the server well presented?
Now, of course, there is a degree of personal judgement in answering these questions.
The reason for today's apprehension is that I'm shopping for a new company. As part of the terms and conditions of any mystery shopping exercise, I can't publish details anywhere - including blogs and social media. So I won't go into much detail but I can say that I've signed up with this mystery shopping company and I'm undertaking a new assignment with a new client.
One of the main differences is that this new mystery shop company operates a different reporting system. Just about all of the reports I've filed need an online form completed and 90% of it is tick boxes - yes/no answers to questions along the lines of those I've stated above. This new company is looking for a narrative version of the visit. I'm not afraid of narrative itself, as it is along the lines of what I'm typing right now, but its a clear narrative of the visit stating only the facts that I need to create.
I find it helpful when I'm apprehensive about something, to talk or type it through and just the typing of today's blog has helped me a little. The unknown can be a little daunting but it's just a case of reading through the instructions thoroughly and being as prepared as I can. And there are lessons here for when I start the business. Conducting my first market appraisal for myself or agreeing my first sale on my own will be exciting and nervy experiences but being prepared will get me through it. I've always worked well from a script or structure and I'll make sure that I have this set up for when I start operating as an estate agent.