Secret Shopper is the premium mystery shopping company that partners with businesses to deliver actionable market research and analysis.
The company measures and analyses customers’ experiences to gain an insightful idea about the goods and services provided by the client’s business. Data gathered are used to provide honest and unbiased feedback to help businesses gain a real understanding of customers’ perception to be used as a basis for improvement.
Secret Shopper Review
Service: Market research data provider
CEO: Paul Ryan
Who is it for? Customer-focused businesses
Rated: 42 out of 100 (2.1/5)
Have you ever been to a store, restaurant, hotel or other places where you had poor experience with their service, or the place does not measure up to the basic standard of cleanliness? These are the kind of things that can drive any business down and their owners going crazy for not even knowing the reason why.
Secret Shopper comes to the rescue as a certified secret shopping company and market research data provider that offers comprehensive analytics to almost all types of customer-focused business, such as
- Automotive and Transportation
- Banking and Financing
- Casinos and Entertainment
- Dining and Restaurants
- Education and Seminars
- Fitness and Salons
- Government Services
- Healthcare and Medical
- Hotels and Resorts
- Museums and Galleries
- Real Estate and Leasing
- Retail and Grocery
The company is a subsidiary of Sight on Service Inc., and is based in Golden Valley, Minnesota. The current president is Paul Ryan, who continuously steers the company that has been in the market research business since mid-January, 1990. For 25 years, Secret Shopper has been operating on a global scale, working with some of the largest companies, conducting millions of evaluations, and having one of the largest vaults of shopper databases.
How does Secret Shopper Work?
Secret Shopper is basically a mystery shopping method used by market research companies or watchdog organizations externally, or internally by companies whenever they want some information from customers regarding their business. Secret Shopper is contracted by these companies to conduct market research in order to gain feedback on their products and services.
Secret Shopper hires or contracts individuals to act as mystery shoppers to perform specific tasks for the purpose of gathering information regarding customer service, employee engagement, or overall store performance.
Evaluating Customer Engagement
The company evaluates client-customer engagement through online, on-site and on the phone experience. The first is by making a telephone call. The way a company’s employee answers the phone can gauge professionalism, politeness, helpfulness and ability to convert an inquiry into a sale or visit at the establishment.
The more traditional way is by personally visiting the business location. Agents of Secret Shoppers act discreetly to avoid suspicion in order to carry out certain tasks, such as purchasing a product, observing waiting times between courses, or focusing on the general atmosphere/attitude of staff members.
Digital Online Audits
In addition to on-site and phone evaluations, Secret Shopper performs digital audits to qualify a company’s effectiveness online. The online assessment comes with doable recommendations to increase customer engagement, web traffic, and business growth.
Following the call, visit, or online experience, the agent will submit a detailed report or feedback about what went well and what did not go so well while acting as a customer. The point is to provide the contracting company with a good idea of the customer experience from the point of view of a Secret Shopper’s agent for quality improvement purposes and to identify training needs for the staff.
How to Apply for a Secret Shopper Job
Joining Secret Shopper is free and it is open to anyone over 18 years of age. Applying as an agent can be possible from anywhere in the world by providing basic information, such as name, age, address and others.
It is important to read the terms, policies and conditions as an anonymous shopper. These guidelines are the contents of a basic Certification Test to be given to an applicant to evaluate his or her familiarity with the rules.
A Shopper ID and password will be assigned to an applicant who successfully passed the test. The Secret Shoppers’ agent will receive notifications of available jobs via email.
How much can you make with Secret Shopper?
The amount of money you can make depends on the number of jobs Secret Shopper assigns to you, how many shops you can visit, how many reports you can submit, and the country where you reside.
Accordingly, you can be paid anywhere from $12 to $25 an hour per assignment. You can, however, earn an average of $10,000 a year if you are a highly proficient and experienced shopper. Payments are sent out through PayPal only every 20th of each month.
In some cases, other form of benefits may be offered, such as free meals, vacation and lots of freebies in lieu of payment.
If you need assistance, Secret Shopper can be easily reached through their Customer Service hotline (763) 525 – 1460. A detailed online contact form may also be filled out.
What to like about Secret Shopper
- Global opportunity to work at home: Only a few work-at-home opportunities are available worldwide and one of them is Secret Shopper, so you can join in regardless of your country of residency.
- A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau: The company has positive BBB rating, the highest score given to businesses for accreditation.
- Available on the App Store. The free Secret Shopper® App is now available on the App Store for iOS devices. It allows registered shoppers to make money as a mystery shopper from their Phone or Tablet.
- Flexible work schedule: As an agent, you can set a work schedule that suits your lifestyle as long as you are able to complete the necessary paperwork on time.
- Variety of assignments: The work varies from one day to the next. For instance, your assignment one day is to evaluate a restaurant, the next a movie theatre, and the next a retail store. There is no way work can be boring due to the frequent change in tasks, locations, and people to deal with.
- Interaction with different people: You get to interact with different people and do different activities that are usually performed in the marketplace.
- Fun in shopping for free: In some cases, you get to keep the item required to be purchased to make an evaluation. Whether it is a makeup item or a cup of coffee, you can either be reimbursed for the cost or may be allowed to keep the products for free on top of the hourly pay for the job as a secret shopper.
Complaints about Secret Shopper
- Lots of scamming people who disguise as Secret Shopper reps are out there inviting individuals to sign up as mystery shoppers and charging them a fee. Of course, joining Secret Shopper is absolutely free and you can sign up directly without going through a middleman.
- There are reports about the company using every trick in the book to reduce your pay just because some members’ English is imperfect. If there are mistakes in the report, an agent is most likely not going to get paid.
- The company does not reimburse costs such as gas, toll fees and other expenses that may be incurred in performing a shopping assignment.
- The growing number of registered mystery shoppers is increasing over time. It means competition can become so fierce with Secret Shopper having lots of options to choose from.
- The job does not offer a fixed or regular salary and the payment depends on performance. The amount of work varies and dependent on your location. There are times when work is barely offered at all.
- Reports tend to be detailed and lengthy, which means it can be time-consuming to fill them in. At times, the reports are required to be submitted within a certain period after receiving an assignment.
If you are a business owner who wants to measure the performance of your establishment, product, or service, and want to know where you stand competitively, you will want to find the right mystery shopping provider. On the other hand, if you are looking for supplemental income from a career that has a lot of perks, you can become a secret shopper.
Both of these needs are catered by Secret Shopper, a mystery shopping company that conducts field-based research for customer-focused business by hiring a pool of people to act as anonymous shoppers.
Secret Shopper is a legitimate mystery shopping company. In fact, it is listed as one of the 17 Top Mystery Shopping Companies for 2018. As such, it is a reliable market research agency for gathering accurate and customer-based feedback on a wide variety of specific business-related areas. As a mystery shopper, however, the job is not a good enough gig if you are considering on making it a full-time career. You cannot live off the pay unless you do so in conjunction with another source of income.
The bottom line is Secret Shopper can be attractive if you have an income gap you would like to fill, earning extra money to help bolster a budge in your free time. However, there are better ways to achieve the same goal with a profit generating website by building one out in minutes on the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
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