My first assignment
I chose my first assignment! This was to call a company, book an appointment and attend it. I liked the sound of this one as it combined a call and a visit so I could get a good idea of how these types of assignments would work. Also, I was able to choose a location close to me which I could fit in around my working day which was great. In addition, what was to be discussed at the meeting was something I hadn’t experienced before and I felt it would benefit me personally, so I thought it sounded perfect!
The objective of this visit was to find out if I was provided with the correct level of assistance, advice and a good standard of customer service. I love a good chat so I thought a meeting with someone would suit me down to the ground!
Upon being assigned, I found the assessment in my inbox and was amazed at the amount of information provided to me by the team running the programme! At first, I thought, ‘oh gosh, what have I got myself into!’ as there were tonnes of things to review. I spoke to the team who made it all sound much clearer. I only needed to read through certain documents which were relevant to my assignment. I fed back that, initially, I found there was quite a bit to take in and since receiving my feedback, they have removed a lot of the unnecessary information so shoppers only see what they really need, at the point at which they need it.
I was given a scenario and a narrative to follow. These are put in place to ensure that the client is receiving feedback on the various different services that they provide and helps shoppers to present as genuine customers. I was able to see the assessment form that I would need to complete, so I knew what I was listening and looking out for.
As it was my first assignment, I was nervous and I wanted to make sure that I completed it correctly, so I needed to make sure that what I thought was being asked of me, was actually what I needed to do. I tend to get myself confused when there is a lot of information, so I replied back in my own words, giving the team member my interpretation of the assignment and they came back to clarify that I had, indeed got the right end of the stick. So, I was armed and good to go!
Side note: The teams running the projects welcome questions. They’d much rather shoppers asked them questions than struggled and their details can be found on each shopper brief PDF and often on the Assignment Info too (when you click ‘i’ on your shopper portal). You can also reply to the person who sent you your confirmation email as they’ll likely know a lot about the project.
If you don’t know who to speak to, email email@example.com or call (+44)1409 255025 (press 2 for shopper enquiries). The team are really helpful (and friendly, although I could be being biased as I am part of the Shopper Support Team myself now!)
My call to book the appointment
The first step was to make a call and book a face to face appointment. I decided that I wanted to open all of the information provided to me and write out a few bullet points summarising what I needed to say during the phone call. A kind of ‘cue card’ which worked really well for me as I felt prepared. The call was very straight forward and the staff member was extremely easy to talk to. All in all, I was only on the phone for about 7 minutes.
Before I forgot any details, I logged in to my shopper portal and updated the assessment form to show what had happened so far. I needed to enter the time and date of the call, what happened during the conversation and a screen shot from my phone to provide evidence that the call had been made. This was all fairly easy to navigate, even for a technophobe like me 😊 I was feeling confident about the assignment so far.
I was called back the next day by the staff member who was going to meet with me. We booked an appointment, discussed the location and I was asked if I needed anything else before we had a chat. The staff member made me feel at ease and followed up with an email confirmation. Once more, I updated the assessment form straight away whilst the call was fresh in my mind. Uploading a copy of the confirmation email and a screen shot of the call received from the staff member.
A word to the wise: make sure you save the assessment form once every 5 minutes or so, otherwise you might be logged out without realising it! It’s a security thing, a little bit like online banking in this way.
I can’t lie, I was more than a little nervous about my appointment as it was the first time I had done anything like this. Would I trip myself up and say the wrong thing and go off script? Would the staff member guess I was a mystery shopper? Would I make a fool out of myself? However, there really wasn’t any need for me to allow my anxiety to get the better of me as, when I sat down with the staff member it was just a conversation. Everything flowed easily and as I had assumed; it did benefit me on a personal level. Win, win I thought! We discussed my situation (well, the situation I was given on my scenario anyway!). I was instructed not to prompt the staff member and to allow them to lead the conversation which actually made my assignment much easier. I felt like 007, OK I wasn’t dodging bullets or saving the world from a disaster, but I was undercover and that felt fun to me.
Now all I needed to do was to complete the assessment form and upload the rest of my evidence, which was an email and a date and time stamped photo of the outside of the building that the meeting took place in. It was a large, detailed assessment form and it took longer to complete than I had expected it to. However, it was very straight forward and I enjoyed writing up my feedback.
Mystery shop complete!
I found the whole process very easy and actually quite fun which came as a surprise. From my experience, I would say that mystery shopping is a great way to make some extra money and the team were supporting me every step of the way. So if this is something you want to do Signup on the company website. Happy shopping 😊
If any of you are reading this and think "I have some feedback for you!" then please email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org