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- What is Mystery Shopping?
Mystery shopping is a form of market research. Individuals pose as customers to objectively gather information on the business being studied. The information gathered usually involves, but is not limited to, customer service, product selection and availability, and overall perception of the shopping experience.
The information obtained from mystery shopping is used to measure service quality, and is usually part of a company-wide program to enhance customer service. Employees are told what is expected of them and that mystery shoppers will be used to evaluate their performance. The idea is to learn from the consumer's point of view which areas of service quality need improvement so the company can make those changes as soon as possible. Mystery shopping is designed to reward good performance and identify areas for improvement and is not intended to punish employees.
The information our mystery shoppers gather is very important to our clients. Although the shopping assignments themselves are often fun, the importance of this work means that mystery shopping is actually very serious business.
- What exactly does a Mystery Shopper do?
A mystery shopper is engaged to visit a place of business (retail shop, financial institution, car dealership or other) for the purpose of evaluating the customer service, products, presentation and other specific details as requested by our clients. Our mystery shoppers follow specific instructions during their visit and complete a detailed online report.
- What skills are required to become a Mystery Shopper?
The best mystery shoppers are detail-oriented, thorough, observant and objective. Mystery Shoppers must keep information related to their assignments confidential and must be extremely reliable. All Mystery Shoppers are required to complete detailed reports for each assignment undertaken. This includes taking notes after assignment completion while the experience is still fresh and then completing an online survey.
- Do I need to have regular Internet access?
Yes, Retail Mystery Shopping Australia is a web-based business and we use our website and e-mails as the primary means for communicating with our mystery shoppers. Assignments are posted on our website and reports must be completed online. An e-mail address is also required.
- How do I apply to be a Mystery Shopper with Retail Mystery Shopping Australia?
Applications to become a Mystery Shopper are accepted online, through our website. Click on the register button to get started. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration.
- What is the difference between a 'standard member' and a 'priority member'?
Standard members may register their interest for scheduled assignments online. Each assignment is assessed by our staff and then allocated to an individual shopper. Notification to successful shoppers happens via e-mail and the process takes several days from the time the assignments are posted. You MUST check your email to see if you have been assigned any of the jobs for which you applied.
Priority members have consistently completed quality assignments on time. They have been given the ability to accept assignments directly from our website without prior approval from our staff. Priority members are given preference over standard members because they are tried and tested.
- Who will supervise my work?
Our team of Shopper Liaisons is available by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org if a Mystery Shopper has a problem or question. All reports are checked and verified by our trained staff. If details are missing or need to be clarified on your report, we will contact you by e-mail or phone. You must keep all written notes from assignments for a minimum of six months.
- How do I apply for assignments?
After logging in as a shopper, click the "Open Opportunities" button located on the left side navigation bar. A list of open assignments within your stated postcode range and distance you are willing to travel will then be displayed on the screen. Click on the "Info" icon and this will show you an Overview of what is required to complete the assignment, including the pay rate. Once you have read and understood the Job Overview click on the "Apply" button on the right side of the assignment for which you would like to apply. A pop-up window will open and you must give a brief reason for why you should be considered for this particular assignment.
Repeat this process if you are interested in conducting multiple assignments. If you are a "standard member", your request will need to be approved before assignments are allocated to you. If you are a "priority member", the assignment will be automatically allocated to you and no one else will be able to request the job. When you receive an assignment, the appropriate briefing document will automatically be available for you in the main shopper's page.
- When do I need to complete the assignments and submit my reports?
It is critical that assignments are conducted within the time frame and dates specified by our client. Failure to do so could result in non-payment. You must submit your reports by midnight on the day the assignment was completed. Again, failure to do so could result in non-payment. If there are circumstances that prevent you from conducting the assignment within the specified time frame, you must e-mail email@example.com immediately. We will review your request and respond via e-mail. Failure to complete assignments without contacting us will result in removal of your membership.
- How do I submit my reports?
After logging in to our website http://www.mysteryshopping.com.au, click on the blue link (over to the left) which will be the name of the survey.
Scroll down to the bottom of the document until you see the first question on the survey. When done, you must click submit at the bottom of the page. If the survey does not disappear from the screen it means something was not filled in correctly. Scroll up and down the report and look for red warnings to find the error. Also check the yes/no responses in case one has been missed. When completed, go to the right side of the page under "Action" and click the submit link which submits the surveys and removes it from your open jobs.
- What happens if I can't complete the job after accepting it?
You must notify us by e-mail or by phone at least 48 hours BEFORE the scheduled shop date so your assignment can be re-assigned to another mystery shopper. If you accept an assignment but do not complete it within the scheduled timeframe and do not inform our office, your name will be removed from our database. Cancellations are costly and inconvenient for our clients.
- Can I have a friend do my scheduled assignment for me?
No, assignments cannot be transferred between mystery shoppers. If you have a friend interested in shopping with us, please have them access our web site www.mysteryshopping.com.au and apply online. Many of our best shoppers have been referrals from friends.
- Where can I shop?
Assignments are available Australia-wide. Open assignments will be visible when you login based on the postcode you supplied when you registered. You can even complete mystery shopping assignments whilst on holiday (if you choose)! Simply check the state or area where you will be holidaying during that time frame. Note: please remember to update your address if you move permanently so we can notify you of assignments in your new location.
- How long does each assignment take?
Each assignment will vary in the length of time it takes to complete. Please read the assignment overview to find out what is required.
- How often do I need to shop?
There is NO minimum number of monthly assignments required. You choose the amount of assignments that you can fit into your schedule. If you are too busy - do NOT take on mystery shopping assignments. Your details will remain on our Mystery Shopping database for at least six months after completing your last assignment.
- How much do I get paid?
A flat fee is paid for each assignment and this fee varies depending on the client and assignment requirements. The rate of pay for each assignment is posted along with the assignment details. Some assignments require a purchase. In these cases, mystery shoppers will be reimbursed up to a maximum amount as stated in the assignment overview. You may spend more than the amount reimbursed, but that is completely up to you. You MUST make a purchase, however, if required.
- How do I get paid?
Payments are made via direct deposit into your nominated bank account. You must supply your valid Tax File Number as well.
- Will I receive a Payment Summary?
Payment Summaries (formerly called Group Certificates) will be available for download each year from our website before the specified deadline (usually 14 July).
- I can't remember my User ID or Password
Click on Forgotten your Password? link in the upper right-hand corner of our website and your user id and password will be sent to you by e-mail. If you do not remember your login ID, you may enter your email address in that field.
- I'm not sure if I am a registered shopper with your company
If you think you may be registered with us but can not login or retrieve your password, please send us an e-mail, including your full name and address, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check to see if you are listed on our database.
- My User ID and/or Password doesn't work
All user names & passwords are case sensitive (upper case letters and lower case letters are different) and will contain letters and numbers. If you have tried the Forgotten Your Password? link and are still experiencing problems, e-mail email@example.com.
- How will I know when new assignments are available?
There is no need to check the website each day for new jobs. When new assignments are available in your designated area, you will be sent email notifications. The email does not guarantee work, you must still go to our website and apply for assignments in which you are interested. You will only be notified via email if you have been allocated any of the assignments. There are a large number of potential mystery shoppers registered with us and there is high demand for assignments. Persistence usually pays off, and it may take some time before you are allocated your first assignment. We will endeavour to get you assignments as soon as possible, so please be patient.
- When do I get paid for each assignment?
Payments are made on a fortnightly basis and will be paid by direct deposit into your bank account. When the pay cycle is closed off you will receive a Pay Statement in your shopper in-box on our website. The pay statement will detail the amount of your next payment. Once you receive your pay statement, the payments will be processed that week, and will show up in your bank account by the end of that week. You must ensure your profile is up to date with your current bank details.
- What should I do if I don't receive a shopper payment?
If you have any questions about a missing payment, please double-check your online profile to ensure we have your correct bank details and then email your name, your question and the name of the assignment you performed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can then investigate the missing payment.
Remember we only pay by direct deposit, so if you have not supplied your bank account details, payments cannot be processed until you do.
- How can I found out how much I have earned?
When you first login to our website, you will see on the left hand side of the screen, about half way down the page a button called "Pay Statements". Clicking on this link will display all of your payments.
Remember even if you have received a pay statement in your shopper in-box, the payments are processed the coming week, and won't show up in your bank account until as late as the end of that week.