How to Spot a Mystery Shopper

A mystery shopper is hired by a company, store, or industry critic whose main objective is to assess the quality of customer service offered in your facility. The data they gather is then released as a review for the general public and other key stakeholders in your target market to read.

Therefore, your team should always offer excellent customer service since if negative information is publicized, it may significantly negatively influence the image of your company.

Understanding Secret Shoppers and How to Spot One

A mystery shopper follows a mystery shopping process when a business employs them to visit a location and evaluate staff members. This process includes assessing a company’s service in an undetectable manner. Also, mystery shoppers behave like regular clients to avoid suspicion and follow all the standard procedures.

However, the staff members must understand how to identify them. There are a few tell-tale signals that a client is a mystery shopper, yet all staff should always perform well to discourage negative comments.

They are Always Taking Pictures

Watch for customers photographing a display or some of your store’s merchandise. Secret shoppers are required to provide their employers with photos. Consequently, it is reasonable to presume that someone taking several photos within your store is there to record their findings.

They also employ cameras to assist them in remembering the parts of your business or the products in your shop that they think are deficient or poorly done.

Building a List

A solid indication that a customer is a mystery shopper is when they are taking notes, mainly when this is unusual. Each secret shopper receives a set of questions with checkboxes to be checked off as they go, including the names of the personnel, ratings for the quality of the customer service, product availability, and cost.

Excessive Questioning

Undoubtedly, the secret shoppers will have a lot of questions. An inquisitive client may inquire about your company’s policies, specifics on your goods and services, and your company’s background, among other things.

Also, mystery shoppers often concentrate on a single item before testing your comprehension. They will then compare your product knowledge to that of the staff from the rival business they work for before sending a report. As a result, you should make sure that your employees are equipped to respond to any questions that could come up.

Hesitant or Unwilling to Respond to Inquiries

Most of the time, mystery shoppers refuse or don’t know how to respond to queries. Additionally, you could be handling a secret shopper if a client is unusually silent and appears to take a long time to react to a straightforward query. As a result, your team should ask some questions back if they think they are speaking with a mystery shopper to see how fast they react.

You Can Pay Attention to Anybody Who Asks For Your Name

The mystery shopper will frequently request your name and job title since they need to record anyone they spoke with in the store. Remember, a secret shopper will most likely request your name after the chat.

Asks Questions Concerning Your Rivals

Be aware that a client may be assessing your company in support of a direct competitor when they ask comparison questions about you and your competitors. You should ensure that all your employees know this strategy and are not allowed to share any information that can help your rivals.

They Inspect the Bathroom

Although each mystery shopper may have their inspection criteria, one criterion that has consistently been found to apply to all mystery shoppers is a restroom quality check. Therefore, if you provide consumers with access to public facilities, maintain them tidily and supplied at all times.

They Monitor the Time

If a customer consistently looks at their wristwatch, you could presume they’re keeping track of the time. Mystery shoppers are required to maintain a precise time log of the hours worked along with other important factors, such as the time it takes for an employee to recognize them and how long they have to wait in a queue.


You cannot be sure whether you are working with a mystery shopper. However, if you pay attention to the customer’s behavior, you may be sure that you’ve done your best and hope that any written review will be favorable.

News Reporter