Example of a Mystery Shopper's Job Checklist & Tasks

Going Mystery Shopping? Be Prepared!

One of the most important factors in carrying out a successful mystery shopper job lies in the preparation. A mystery shopper has to remain anonymous and not stand out, so you can't carry notes or instructions with you on the job.

However, the brief received from your company will have all the required information - and be sent in good time - so it is very important to read it thoroughly and query anything that you don't understand.

Many companies will require you to complete the same basic information, but until you get accustomed to automatically noting this, it can be useful to create a checklist to memorize, then quickly complete once you've left the store. A typical example is as follows:

Example Checklist

1. Time of arrival
2. Names of stores located either side of the premises.
3. Is entrance clean and tidy?
4. How many staff are present?
5. What are staff doing e.g., helping customers or tidying
6. Were you acknowledged by staff after you entered the
7. How long did you have to browse before a member of
staff approached you? Or did you have to approach
8. Was the member of staff able to answer your query?
9. Name or description of the member of staff.
10. Was the store generally tidy and easy to walk around?
11. How many people were in front of you at the till?
12. How long did you wait to be served at the till?
13. Name or description of member of staff who served you
at the till.
14. Did member of staff at the till make conversation?
15. Did they bid you goodbye in a pleasant way, e.g. smile
and make eye contact.
16. Time of departure.

Of course, you cannot openly carry a checklist into the store with you, but it may be useful to have this as a reminder in your phone which you can check easily and still remain anonymous.

Example of a Typical Mystery Shopper Job Assignment

Based on the information required in the checklist, if you carried out a mystery shopping job in a store such as Sears, then the first thing you would do is stop outside and check the window displays, perhaps noting details on your phone if required. You would also note the stores to the left and right and take a photo of the outside if required to do so in the brief. (N.B. Often it is stated that photographs should only be taken after leaving the store in order not to arouse suspicion.)

On entering the store, you would go to the department set out in your brief. After browsing, until approached by a member of staff (and noting the time that this takes to happen) you would ask questions set down in the brief such as; do they have a particular item in a different size or can they direct you to the winter coats? You must also note the name of the member of staff or be able to describe them.

If required to purchase an item, you would then approach the cash desk and make a mental note of the size of the queue and how long it takes to be served. You would need the name or description of the member of staff who serves you and you may have to note details such as whether they make conversation, say thank you or end the conversation in a pleasant manner.

You must also note the actual time that you leave the store. It is advisable to complete your mystery shopper checklist for the job as soon as possible after completing the job, but do not do this in sight of the store.

Mystery shopping is about giving an impartial view of the level of service required. Careful preparation and a thorough reading of the brief will mean that you can do this successfully.

Next Steps?

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