Where are you from?

I’m originally from Ukraine, currently live in Belgium.

How long have you been working as a mystery shopper?

About 4 years.

Do you like working in this sphere?

I started working with mystery shopping to practice Flemish and French and then it became a full-time job for me, because it gives an opportunity to manage my time easier while I earn the same or sometimes more than at a regular office job (if you are a single mother it is very important to have flexible working schedule).

Have you ever noticed any improvements in the customer service of the establishments after your first visit?

I stop at some shops as a regular client after I have made a check there as a mystery shopper and indeed I’m noticing the difference. I do not have precise statistics, because the results depend a lot on a human factor, but I could say that I have noticed about 30-40 % service improvement after the mystery shopping visit.

In your opinion, what are the most important criteria for good customer service?

Most important is to like the job that you do. If you do not like it, better change it, otherwise, everything will go wrong at some point.

How would you describe your work style during the visits?

I have certain criteria and instructions in my head as well as I have a plan of the visits I am going to do and good understanding of the plan of the city/country (sometimes I travel for a week through Germany, France, Netherlands, or stay for few days or even weeks in Paris/Amsterdam/etc., if I have a big project, because I must know well what I am going to do). I’m very active, efficient and sporty, because sometimes I have to run between shops due to high traffic in the cities and it requires good physical shape.

Have you had any unusual or funny moments during the visits?

I had a lot of interesting situations, both good and bad. The funny situation was when I was doing a big project for a card company in Amsterdam and I had a list of 200 locations to visit and buy something in each shop. While I was doing the task I found out that some of these places were local coffee-shops and sex shops, so I had to visit them as well and buy something there, which was not easy to do with the credit card. That would never happen to me in a normal life because those shops are out of my interest, but now I could even advice tourists which coffee-shops are the best there.  

If you had the opportunity to give advice to all customer-facing companies, what advice would you give?

Try to do service checks at least a few times per year. It really gives results in the long term, especially if you use it on a regular basis.

Do you have a dream to visit a certain company or to use a certain service as a mystery shopper?

My favorite places to visit are luxury hotels and top restaurants. I also like Spa salons, make-up visits and hairdressing salons. I’d like to test a cruise ship trip.

What advice would you give a future mystery shopper of Scheduling Worldwide?

Be yourself, enjoy the moment and have fun while doing your job.

What do you hope that Scheduling Worldwide does in the future?

I hope you can get more clients in Europe in interesting areas.

In your opinion, what are the perspectives of the development of the mystery shopping niche?

I see good perspectives for this occupation as suggestion of products on the market increases and competition is getting tougher. Apart from beating the competitor with the price, companies look more and more at the quality of service and something additional that they could give to the customers. The opinion of a regular customer and his satisfaction become more important as the competition increases.