There are certain qualities that make the best mystery shoppers stand out from the rest. Many of these can either be learned or practiced until they become second nature. It behooves anyone looking to make a name for themselves in the world of undercover shopping to study this list seriously.
1. Self-motivation - As Willie Osterweil outlines in his thoughtful essay, "The Secret Shopper," published by The New Inquiry Magazine, mystery shoppers must be proactive above all else. Each person chooses the jobs they would most like to perform, takes it upon themselves to make contact with the client or their mystery shopping company, follows up after completing the task and tracks their work. If you can't motivate yourself, you're going to fall off the wagon.
2. Communication - Consumer Service Analysis Inc. aptly lists good communication skills as the first quality necessary in a mystery shopper. Maintaining an open line of communication between the client and yourself is essential to fulfilling your tasks and continuing to work for them. Reporting accurately on the shop and being completely honest about the experience is required.
3. Flexible schedule - Some assignments may require you to visit a restaurant during peak lunch hours or a store at the end of the day. Be sure to note any specific timetables when choosing your mystery shopping schedule.
4. Strong memory - There are typically very specific instructions and details that clients need covert shoppers to note as they are completing an assignment. However, writing down comments or recording is usually a dead giveaway that you aren't a normal customer! You'll need to use your sharp mind to recall details after you've left the store.
5. Good writing - Along the same lines as communication and memory, CSA Inc. maintains that good writing skills go a long way for mystery shoppers because the better a report is, the more the client can understand what is and is not working for their business. They'll appreciate your diligence and you will continue to find work in this industry.