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Secret shopping is not a new invention. However, contemporary market research has greatly refined and improved the methods of mystery shopping, making it more acceptable, more consensual, and definitely less "mysterious".
Originally, mystery shopping was regarded as a clandestine activity that aimed to surprise frontline stuff by presenting it with uneasy and whimsical customers. Then, stuff would be criticized and even punished if it had failed to satisfy the oftentimes extravagant caprices of the secret customers. However, many loyal employees suffered from the unchecked behavior of secret shoppers, and were unjustly penalized or fired because of some mystery shopping reports. That is no longer the case.
Today, market research organizations have recognized the importance of mystery shopping jobs, and have legitimated it by creating ethical and practical guidelines how to conduct mystery shopping, and how to train secret shoppers for these purposes. Mystery shopping is no longer a secretive attack on employees, but an activity that refreshes the service qualities of the frontline staff. Moreover, mystery shops are now developed and pursued with the full-scale participation of employees understanding that secret shopping can indeed improve the performance of floor staff.
The benefits of mystery shopping to secret shoppers are multifold. Usually, mystery shoppers are paid in cash for a lot of assignments. Shoppers get to keep a lot of free items that they purchase as a part of the task; they also use services for free, when visiting a car wash, a car rental, a hair salon, a beautician, or other premises. Secret shopper companies oftentimes also reimburse shoppers for the traveling expenses or refreshment costs that secret shoppers incur while completing their task. As a part of the assignment, mystery shoppers may also bring along family members, kids or pets, and their expenses also get reimbursed.
That all said, mystery shopping is a very diverse challenge, because you can travel to different locations, meet various people, or you can spend fun time with your family and friends visiting amusement parks, holiday villages or shopping malls. You can go to places or use services that you otherwise wouldn't afford – mystery shopping can give you the chance.
From a disputed and controversial method to coerce staff loyalty, mystery shopping has become an acknowledged and reliable method for training staff, improving its performance, and giving businesses competitive edge through better frontline support. Mystery shopping, moreover, is rewarding hundreds of thousands mystery shoppers every day with cash, various rewards, bonus incentives and great bargains on products and services. Taking up mystery shopping is always fun, and greatly rewarding!