Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Mystery Shoppers

1Who can become a mystery shopper?

Any person over the age of 18 can become a mystery shopper. To become a mystery shopper, you must possess a developed sense of observation, orientation to details, discretion, fairness, punctuality, good communication skills and good organizational skills.

2What technical facilities do you need to become a mystery shopper?

- access to the Internet;

- personal e-mail address for correspondence, to receive forms and working instructions;

- mobile phone;

3How much does a mystery shopper earn?

Each mystery shopper is paid after every visit they make. The mystery shopper is paid per visit, for each separate project. If a mystery shopper completes the visits successfully, they will be requested to take part in as many projects as possible and will have the opportunity to earn substantial income.

4What must a mystery shopper do in a project?

Once the project execution details are set, our company will select from the database the mystery shoppers that fall under the required profile for that particular project. The mystery shoppers selected from the database will be contacted and be presented with the working conditions for that project. The mystery shoppers showing interest will benefit from a training/formation program where the project and the work method will be explained to them and they will be given the materials required.

The mystery shoppers must make the visits assigned to them and fill out in our online system the forms provided by the Hollow Men project coordinator, for validation purposes. For each validated form, which is filled out correctly, the mystery shopper will be paid. In certain cases, mystery shoppers can be rewarded with free purchases from the stores that they visit, free restaurant dinners, etc.

Since every project has its particularities, the working procedures may vary from project to project.

5How do I become a mystery shopper?

As mystery shoppers, you become members of the Hollow Men team, the unseen satellites that collect information from the field which is so necessary for our partners.

We have developed for our mystery shoppers a motivational system by which we encourage them to make visits with utmost seriousness and by which we reward performance.

You can get ready for a career in market research by joining the Hollow Men mystery shopper team.

For registration, click here!

Frequently Asked Questions for Companies

1How does a mystery shopping study help me?

There are several benefits that a mystery shopping study can have for your company:

- it helps implement the company’s standard for services provided in the assessed locations;

- it assesses the staff in terms of skills and attitude, emphasizing locations that perform above standard and also locations that perform below standard;

- it identifies the company’s weak and strong points in delivering the service;

- it streamlines investment in training;

- it controls and assesses compliance with internal procedures and legal requirements;

- it assesses competition.

2Who is the mystery shopper?

The mystery shopper is the person that makes visits to certain locations/stores, indicated by the project partner, where by pretending to be an actual customer they asses the employees and the location according to certain predetermined criteria and certain aspects.

Mystery shoppers are not regular customers; they are taught and trained to act like a regular customer, but at the same time to also notice what is happening during the visit (image of location, attitude, appearance, knowledge of employees, etc.) without revealing the true purpose of their visit there.

3In what geographical area/cities can Hollow Men conduct mystery shopping projects?

This service is offered country-wide, in all counties, since Hollow Men has collaborators in 242 locations in Romania. We have a national network of mystery shoppers who can make visits in any locality across Romania, the recruitment and selection process being carried out constantly. The degree of territorial coverage is 85% by taking into account a total number of 372 urban localities (including those defined as cities in 2004).

Wherever we operate we have the technical and logistic capacity to offer the mystery shopping service at the same standards. Our experienced project managers will help you supervise the mystery shopping studies and create new projects so that you can rest assured that you have the best service evaluators in the field.

4How do I choose the mystery shoppers?

Each type of business has its own customers. To enjoy credibility, the mystery shopper must be as similar as possible to the profile of the actual customer of your business. In order to do that, we keep a national database with over 30,000 person profiles, which is being constantly extended and updated through a continuous recruitment process. These mystery shoppers have various ages, nationalities, cultural backgrounds, they have different income levels, professional specializations and other particular features.

In this way, we can always very easily select the suitable mystery shopper. Moreover, if the profile of your customer is a bit more special, Hollow Men, constantly undergoing recruitment processes, will be able to find you the mystery shopper you need.

5How many mystery shoppers does Hollow Men have?

Hollow Men has over 1600 active collaborators in addition to a permanently updated database of over 30,000 mystery shopper profiles.

6Are the mystery shoppers qualified?

All mystery shoppers recruited are technically trained in terms of the mystery shopping process. Subsequently they are selected following a series of technical and Romanian language tests. During the activity, they will be trained for each particular project and then undergo tests in order to be qualified to take part in mystery shopping studies. We do not allow untrained or inexperienced mystery shoppers to participate in projects.

In this way, we provide the highest level of professionalism possible for checking all the aspects of the activity carried out by your staff.

7What is a mystery shopper form?

It is a standard report that the mystery shopper draws up immediately after their visit. All mystery shoppers taking part in the same mystery shopping study will fill out the same type of form. It contains standard criteria (to keep objectivity of information collected) but also particularities, leaving mystery shoppers the possibility to express their personal opinions.

8How do you draw up a mystery shopper form?

The form, also called assessment sheet, is drawn up by the Hollow Men project coordinator based on the discussions with your company representatives, where it is determined what you aim to obtain by the mystery shopping study.

The form also contains our rating proposals assigned depending on the importance of the criteria previously discussed. The mystery shopping study reports are drawn up based on the forms. For this reason correctly setting the initial form is very important for the final results that will reach you.

9Why are mystery shopper reports important?

They show you the way in which your customers perceive your business. They offer you priceless feedback on the staff, services and other aspects of your business. They reveal aspects and situations from the field that actually take place, unfiltered information directly from the source.

If there is any negative impression on your employees or your business, you will find out from the reports of the mystery shoppers. Therefore you will be able to identify and solve the issues in due time before your business has to suffer and your customers redirect their steps to the competition.

10 How do you centralize the results of all the visits made by mystery shoppers?

Hollow Men uses a secure online application to centralize all forms so that this operation is carried out swiftly and with maximum accuracy without any human error intervention. The project partner can access the centralized information related to the project based on username and password, therefore they can monitor the entire mystery shopping study.

11How detailed will the activity reports be?

Our analyses offer detailed reports on all existing standards applicable to your area of activity. These factors have been tested and tried in order to offer you the most detailed information on how to improve your services. Our reports can be customized so that you can get the information as you want it and obtain the maximum volume of data possible. Reports can be either general or separate and integrated for each type of form applied:

- Centralized, evolutionary and comparative general reports

- Separate and integrated reports for each type of form applied

- On the assessment sheet criteria/indicators, individualized or cumulative

- Specific regional, zonal, local or structured reports on any desired feature/indicators, etc. (in PowerPoint, Excel or PDF)

- Individual reports for each particular visit/location (where there are several assessments per location) or for each employee

- Special area analyses.

Hollow Men is able to deliver online reports and the professional software allows customized multiuser online access, based on username and password

12How much time is needed to launch a mystery shopping project?

The mystery shopping project can start – launch of field stage, where mystery shoppers make visits – within a few days (7 days at most) from obtaining your approval on the form.