Answers to all of your questions
Who is a secret shopper?
A secret shopper can be anyone! Some shoppers work full-time, however most secret shopping is part-time and flexible.
What do they do?
Shoppers visit specified businesses where they act as the eyes and ears of a typical customer’s experience. The shopper may call ahead or visit unannounced. Onsite, they provide the best opportunity for the employee to complete their best customer service and presentation of the product/service.
Is secret shopping legal?
Yes! Businesses hiring secret shopping companies are required to inform employees they will be shopped during their tenure. Employees must sign a consent form stating they agree to be shopped without notification. Business Observations and clients all comply with state laws and statues regarding secret shopping. In Nevada, a secret shopper must work in conjunction with a private investigation firm.
Are all shops alike?
There are many types of shops as well as all different information gathered during the secret shop which makes each shop interesting. Narrative or written may require a phone call along with an onsite visit. An audio or video shop requires covertly recording the onsite visit. Businesses may want a report of a typical customer experience while others may want specific information. Check our website for all types of shops we offer.
How does a shopper prepare for and complete a shop?
The secret shopper reviews the guidelines specific to the type of shop and previews the evaluation to be completed after the onsite visit. The evaluation includes yes/no questions, a drop-down list of answers and a comment section for a short paragraph about the shopper’s experience. The shop and evaluation must be completed according to guidelines and within a stated deadline.
What about audio and video shops?
Video shops are performed with covert video recording equipment. Audio shops can be recorded with a cell phone as long as incoming calls, texts or email do not interrupt the recording. Approved equipment for video shops is a Lawmate PV500 or an Angel Eye. Also approved for both audio and video shops is the PocketPro Field app for cell phones used according to guidelines. Audio and video recording files must be uploaded to the evaluation.
What is done with the evaluations and recordings?
After Business Observations confirms and audits the shop information and delivers it, the client uses the information or audio and/or video recording to better train the person who was shopped.
How much do secret shops pay and how are they paid?
Pay for each type of shop depends on the complexity of the shop and whether the onsite visit is recorded. Each shop notification will specify a payment amount. Shops are paid 30-60 days after shop completion. An IRS Form 1099 is issued to all shoppers earning over $600 in a calendar year.