The Great & Good of Mystery Shopping

Has anyone met any of the great and good of mystery shopping?

I recently met one of the CEOs of one of the top 20 firms. When he asked me my opinion of his firm. I said, "The fees are pretty low but I do it to visit some fancy restaurants and as a hobby". He seemed shocked when I said the fees were low.....

I won't reveal who the CEO is to protect identities but he was a very decent guy.

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You can meet a whole lot of MSC managers and owners at shopper conferences.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
They won't admit to having low fees, but the best of them do.....the old saying, "If you can, you do"!!!!
That was a bold thing to tell the CEO their fees are low...sad smiley

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
When someone asks your opinion, does this mean they don't want the truth? I think the industry as a whole is offering lower and lower fees. Obviously it's better to get any fee over the reimbursement only shop, but I think that you provided him with good feedback. Otherwise, why even ask?! But of course, if they have no problems filling shops, there's no good reason to give away more of their money!

Doing what I can to enhance the life of my family! I LOVE what I do smiling smiley
Fees low? really...? Wow....! and he acted "surprised"? Like Ross Johnson of Nabisco used to say, back in the 80's...."Blinding glimpse of the Obvious....any CEO worth his salt knows the labor line items...
Oftentimes CEO's are not aware of the pay scale for people down the line. Yes, they may have signed something about pay but never stopped to figure out how that turns into an hourly wage. I am not trying to defend them but the further away you are from the rank and file of the company the less you really know about their day to day struggles. So in a large company his response can be very true.
I watched Undercover Boss a few times and the big boss with feet on the ground oftentimes got a real education into what it was like for the line employees. And if the CEO is reading the subject line of the emails sent to us by their schedulers they are sure to think the jobs are all fun and easy!
The CEO may have been a shopper in his day and worked himselve up....I think they should have an idea of pay, not specifically but generally. Keeping cost down is part of what they are responsible for. I don't believe for a hot minute the CEO doesn't know Mystery Shopping is a low pay job, (he's smarter than that), but thinks due to reimbursement, it's all good. The CEO could care less about the shopper, but is diplomatic as he should be. Reading any email shows pay....

When you know better you do better....

Oprah


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/19/2017 07:55PM by Irene_L.A..
I get what you are saying Irene but I see lots of emails from schedulers that say a job will take 10 minutes. Yes, that might be true if it was across the street from your house and you were a speed reader and able to read the 6 pages of shop directions in a half minute, then rush across , do the shop, have no wait in line, no negative feedback to make the report longer etc. I am pretty sure there are many that think these shops can be done quickly. I do not think all CEO's are in tune with what it takes to be a mystery shopper. Those who were shoppers themselves yes, you are probably right but for the large companies those CEO's may never have shopped or it was long ago.
They know exactly the meaning of a $10 brake shop that takes an hour at the location, a $3 phone call or a $17 car shop...a $5 for the return portion of a purchase.... p...l...eeze! He/She was shocked that you mentioned it, not that it is in existence. IMHO However, it's nice to have decent peeps in the industry.
If the shop doesn't pay what I think is reasonable I don't shop it. I will ask for a bonus if there is a distance that I think should pay more. I will not do a shop for $10 if their is a return, that to me is two shops. Every shop is up to the individual shopper and their expectations. Phone shops can be as much work as leaving the house in some cases. There are very few shops that I would do for under $10. Car shops $70, Assisted living $70.
Sandy pretty much sums up my understanding of how CEO's view MSing and the wages offered.

The majority of them did not start out as shoppers and work their way up. A majority have hospitality degrees or management experience, with very little knowledge of what shoppers go through...and even the ones who shopped at one time seem to have forgotten the struggles of shoppers. Many see shoppers as expendable resources who require very little training or education.

I have had wages justified to me in conversations as being competitive, offering what the market will bear, and being greater than what the other staff (schedulers and editors) make. When I have explained high pay rates provided by smaller boutique MSCs, they were met with skepticism...and it doesn't help that the large MSCs will post and make it easy for others to see the very low rates that shoppers will work for. When a CEO sees shops for $2 or no fee at all going off the boards at other companies, they feel generous offering $10-20.

Telling the management that rates are too low will not solve anything. Shoppers refusing to work for poor wages will make the difference.

@sandyf wrote:

I am pretty sure there are many that think these shops can be done quickly. I do not think all CEO's are in tune with what it takes to be a mystery shopper. Those who were shoppers themselves yes, you are probably right but for the large companies those CEO's may never have shopped or it was long ago.
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

The CEO may have been a shopper in his day and worked himselve up....I think they should have an idea of pay, not specifically but generally. .

From my understanding he has been running his company for 2 or 3 decades so he probably hasn't been doing much shopping recently. Also as the CEO, he will be more or more less totally focused on getting more clients and keeping the existing ones happy.
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