Use a smartphone while mystery shopping

Smartphones complement the mystery shopping experience.

Mystery shopping is both an exciting and nerve-racking time. It allows mystery shoppers to participate in something they enjoy doing by visiting numerous stores. Yet at the same time, they may feel some type of pressure and uneasiness. After all, they're supposed to remain anonymous, as they are measuring qualities of service.

Another tip for mystery shoppers is for them to blend in. This will help divert any attention. However, if a store employee approaches you, obviously you have to react. This evaluation process can be both simple and difficult. You might wonder how you're going to remember everything, and this is made more difficult because taking notes on a pen and paper will clearly blow your cover.

Luckily, there is a solution for mystery shoppers to properly record notes: A smartphone

Embrace the phone
Almost everyone owns a smartphone these days. No matter the manufacturer, every device is loaded with helpful tools. If not, mystery shoppers can head to application stores to download the necessary apps.

Phones help you blend in because everyone is glued to their devices, even while shopping. Store employees will have no idea you are actually taking detailed notes on everything, from how clean the area is to any poor customer service interactions. It will look like you're simply texting a friend.

You will want to utilize the phone's note taking program or research a third-party program. Try to use programs than can be synced across all your devices. This way, once you get back home, you can read your notes on a bigger screen and make any edits. It's important to clean up your writing because your notes may contain potential errors.

Note taking tips
When typing in notes, you should strive for short, but meaningful sentences. If you spend your entire time staring at your phone while mystery shopping, it may or may not come off as suspicious because not too many people can shop continually staring at their screen. You will also not be able to completely focus. It's recommended you develop shorthand for various keywords to save you time.

Remember, you aren't writing any paragraphs yet. Experiment with using bullet or numerical lists to highlight positives and negatives. The next part of smartphone note taking involves the use of visuals. This is entirely up to the mystery shopper, but it is possible to take a few screenshots because to employees, you may be sending a photo to a friend.

If you decide to embed any images, snap a quick photo. You shouldn't spend too much time focusing the camera and trying to get the perfect image. With today's technology, a large majority of smartphone pictures have pretty good quality.

Head to any store and you will always see customers on their phone. Use this to your advantage, because smartphone usage is a part of everyday life. Your phone is packed with powerful tools to enhance the mystery shopping experience while allowing you to remember more important details.