Sometimes the most fun part about mystery shopping is the secrecy. It's a lot like being an undercover detective with an important mission. So, what happens when you are asked to give yourself away and confess your identity on the job?
These situations are called reveal shops. Mystery Shopper's Manual asserts that the primary goal of a reveal shop is to test employees or managers on specific corporate or company-wide guidelines they need to be following. This could be anything from greeting customers with a particular slogan to informing you about an ongoing contest at the venue. Reveal shops are sometimes called reward shops because prizes are given out – by you! – to employees who successfully pass your inspection.
The downside of performing a reveal comes when an employee does not meet the criteria set up. In this situation, you may have to confess the purpose of your visit and then deliver the bad news to them in person. This isn't always the case, but it can add a tricky layer to the shop that isn't present on other less conspicuous jobs.
An experience related by Jennifer O'Malley on Mystery Shopping Learning Center details one encounter she had with an angry manager on a reveal shop. Though she received harsh words and some raised voices, she stood her ground and concluded her job as instructed. So, keep this in mind when deciding whether or not you are interested in completing reveal shops.
The good news is you will be notified if you have to reveal yourself on a job before choosing the assignment. Usually a client will not spring this on you at the last minute. This is in part because they will need to send you the prizes or certificates you are to present to the employee if they do their job well, along with a checklist of specific phrases or actions you should be looking for.