Now Hiring: Mystery Shoppers

Get paid to give your opinion on timeshare presentations, how cool is that?
BY: LACEY STORER

Are you looking for a way to make some easy cash? If so, how do you feel about going to a timeshare presentation as a mystery shopper? All-Star Customer Service, Inc., which has been doing mystery shopping in the U.S. for 14 years and in Cabo for three years, is on the look out for new shoppers.

Basically, people sign up with a company as mystery shoppers to go out and shop at (or eat at or call into) a certain store, restaurant or call center. The shoppers are tasked with taking note of how they were treated and how the employees acted, and then report their experiences back to the company that hired them. Their feedback is then passed along to the store/restaurant/call center so they can make improvements to their customer service experience, if necessary.

David Kantner, president of All-Star Customer Service, Inc., says resorts come to them for mystery shopping of their timeshare presentations because they’ve either had an inkling that something is a problem or they want to be on top of their game and address any issues that could grow into larger problems. “You can’t fix a problem you don’t know about,” he says. “The one thing we say is, employees don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect, and we inspect what you expect.” Nice jingle.

Correcting problems before they get a good start is especially important since all it takes these days to lose business is one bad review on social media. “One employee, in ten minutes, can cost you 10 new customers, and isn’t it better to deal with it before it gets on social media?” Kantner says. His company provides honest, unbiased reviews that can give resorts a competitive edge.

So what does it take to become a timeshare mystery shopper? For starters, you can’t be an employee of the place that will be mystery shopped. You need to have a computer and internet access, because you have to register and access available jobs through the website. Mystery shoppers also need to have good writing skills and be able to follow directions. Experience in sales or real estate isn’t necessary, but is a bonus.

Once a candidate has been interviewed and selected for a job, they are able to download a list of things they will be asked to report on. These include details like the name of the employee who greeted them and whether they smiled. (Being timeshare, we have to mention that leers don’t count). And the resorts aren’t just looking for the things that are wrong with their staff; they also want to hear about what the employees are doing right.

After the shopper has gone through the timeshare presentation, they have to fill out a report which is then submitted to the company’s reviewers who review it to make sure the shopper provided enough details about their experiences.

Sometimes a job will also require the shopper to provide audio recordings of their interactions with employees. Shoppers can purchase their own recording devices, Kantner says, or can have a device included as part of their compensation. Cool. Now we’re getting into serious gum shoe territory. We know about wearing a mic, we watch TV.

Compensation varies depending on the job, but shoppers can receive up to $400, and sometimes there are bonuses offered as well. Not bad pay for a job that Kantner says only takes about three or four hours. Unfortunately, though, even though shoppers are offered gifts as part of the time share presentation, they aren’t allowed to keep them.

Kantner says they can only use one shopper per resort and always need to rotate new shoppers in, so they are always looking for mystery shoppers in Cabo. He encourages people to sign up and to always keep applying for jobs, even if they don’t get an assignment right away. “If they don’t get the first one, a lot of people give up, but we can only fill so many at a time,” he says.

To sign up as a mystery shopper, visit www.mysteryshoppingexperts.com/.