Apps allow mystery shoppers to stealthily take notes

As a mystery shopper, it's your duty to record and remember as much detail as you can about the shopping experience so you can report it later.

As a mystery shopper, it's your duty to record and remember as much detail as you can about the shopping experience so you can report it later. This can be very difficult at times, since you don't want your cover to be blown, but you could possibly forget important details about whether a sales clerk answered questions or if they upsold you if you don't record the proceedings in some way. While some assignments will allow for video recording, most others will require that you take notes for use later. However, since carrying a notepad and pen would be too obvious, you need to find some other way to report observations while completing your job. Thankfully, you may already have that tool in your hands in the form of a smartphone.

Over the last seven years, the smartphone has become a ubiquitous part of society, with the most recent report from comScore saying more mobile devices connect to the Internet than computers. Because of this, you have the ultimate advantage of concealment with your device. Instead of having to rush to the bathroom and write stuff down, you can use an app to takes and pretend that you're simply sending a text message to your friends, which is what most employees will suspect. Since it's hard to see the phone's screen, the only way floor staff will be able to suspect you're a mystery shopper is if they caught you unawares from behind, which is inappropriate employee behavior anyway. By hiding in plain sight, you can make the most of your mystery shopping assignment without risking your cover.

Finding the best note-taking app
There are a lot of different apps to take notes with for your smartphone, whether it's an Android phone or Apple iPhone. They all have different features that can help you make better notes for review later. Many of these apps will then link up with a cloud-based service so that you can save it for later and look it up on a different computer. That gives you the added benefit of reviewing the assignment at a time that's convenient for you. You will be less stressed, and you'll have time to write out more accurate reports for review. The end result is better quality reports and a more effective mystery shopping experience.

In addition to saving notes in the cloud for later review, there are other features to consider, according to GigaOM. You may be able to conspicuously record audio with these apps and sync the audio with your notes so that you have a reference to what you were writing. That can help you remember other details that you may not have picked up. In addition, you can jot notes by hand with some apps. While this increases the risk that it'll blow your cover, you may be able to draw simple shapes with your finger that allow you get a better picture of what you're experiencing. With any of these features, you can develop better notes and reviews overall.