What is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is the process of conducting a covert (secret) visit to assess the customer experience and measure the standards upheld within each store. It typically involves:
• Entering a store and posing as a ‘normal customer’ to observe the level of service offered.
• Reporting the results on a survey or questionnaire form, answering questions and making comments to describe your visit.
• The information gathered relates to:
– Customer service
– Sales process
– Product knowledge
– Overall customer experience 

What is auditing?
Auditing is the process of conducting an overt (non-secret) visit to assess measure the standards upheld within a store or centre.  It typically involves:
• Entering a store as an auditor and assessing the store/centre against the standards provided.
• Answering a survey regarding the cleanliness and the state of facilities of that store/centre.
• Reporting the results on a survey or questionnaire form, answering questions and making comments to describe your visit.
• The information gathered involves:
– Cleanliness
– Condition of facilities 

What is research?
Research is the process of conducting an overt (non-secret) visit to a store and conducting a survey amongst the customers to assess the overall customer experience within that store. It typically involves:
• Conducting short surveys regarding the customer experience within the store.
• Interacting with the customers of a store during/after their visit.
• Reporting the results on a survey form, answering questions and making comments to describe your visit.
• The information gathered involves:
– Employee performance
– Product quality
– Product knowledge
– Overall perception of the customer experience

How long does it take to complete a mystery shop?
It depends on the requirements of the job, but on average each mystery shopping job takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete in the store. You’ll also spend another 15 minutes either side of the job reading through the job documents, completing the e-learning, and submitting your report afterwards.

Is there a fee to join the Creative Activation Customer Experience Team?
No; there is no fee to join our team and become a mystery shopper. We strongly advise you against registering with companies that require you to pay money to sign up.

Is it alright to work for more than one mystery shopping company at the same time?
Yes, so long as conducting mystery shops for a competitor does not present a conflict of interest and you understand our confidentially agreement. All Creative Activation and client materials, information and results must remain confidential and are not to be disclosed to any third party. You understand that jobs are completely confidential and that you must not discuss the program or divulge details to any other party, other than the Operations Team at Creative Activation. If you breach your confidentiality agreement, as outlined in your Employment Conditions, it may result in your removal from the Customer Experience database and further legal action may be taken.

Do I have a conflict of interest?

One of the essential terms of the service we offer to our clients is that “mystery” shoppers are anonymous and not-identifiable when performing the duties.  For this reason, we require you to promise us that you have no conflict of interest when you are performing the duties we offer to you. 
You do have a conflict of interest if:

•  You are a current or previous employee of the business, retail brand, store or site you are engaged to visit;
•  You are a current employee of one of Creative Activation’s competitors; 
•  You have any previous or current business or personal connections present when performing the duties eg: you are friends with a Staff Member in the store selected for the visit.  

You promise that you will not ‘accept’ the job if there is the possibility that you could be identified or in any other way compromise your anonymity when performing the duties.
If a conflict of interest arises you promise to immediately contact your Customer Experience State Contact immediately to advise them of the conflict of interest.  The State Contact will take steps to manage the conflict appropriately, including excluding you from jobs that are affected by the conflict of interest.
Our clients are entitled to check with us to make sure that the mystery shoppers we provide to them are in fact anonymous and not-identifiable when performing the duties.  In this regard your name and other basic identifying details (such as date of birth) may be provided to our clients for the purpose of spot checking conflicts of interest. This information will not be retained by our clients and will be used for the purpose of spot checking conflict of interest only, then destroyed.

Knowingly withholding this information will entitle the Creative Activation Customer Experience Team to stop offering you work. 

Your confidentiality and legal obligations:

Confidentiality is essential to the mystery shopping program.  

In performing mystery shopping work you promise:

• To protect the confidentiality of all the materials provided to you, the information gathered by you and the results produced by you; and
• Not to reveal or discuss the duties performed by you, either in person or online (other than with your operational team at Creative Activation);
In accepting work offered to you, you acknowledge that the results and information gathered by you in the course of performing your duties constitute highly sensitive data about our clients and highly confidential information about Creative Activation’s mystery shopping program methodology.  This data is protected by the Data Protection Act (in its most current form). 
You agree that failure to maintain confidentiality is a serious matter for the reasons set out above and you agree that any breach of confidentiality in relation to the duties you perform or information you collect will entitle the Creative Activation Customer Experience Team to stop offering you work.

What does the average mystery shop involve?

The majority of our jobs are available for self-selection on our specially designed website – The Junction. Our team can log onto The Junction to review available jobs in their local area. Every job has its own summary and job details explaining what is required. You can plan and complete the work when convenient to you, as long as it’s within the allocated time frame. The results of the mystery shop are then uploaded back on to the website when the job is completed.

Is there a purchase involved in each job?
Not all jobs involve making a purchase. If there is a purchase required, there is an amount included in the payment for the job to cover the cost.

Where can I work?
We have mystery shopping jobs available all over Australian, and mystery shoppers can nominate the locations they want to work in. Available mystery shopping jobs will generally be available for self–selection on our website. Occasionally there may be an opportunity to travel and in these cases any allowances are negotiated before the job commences.

How do I reset my password?
Click on ‘Forgot Password?’ at the top of the page, enter your Username (e.g. Em_Smi_333) and an email will be sent to the email address you have supplied under ‘My Profile’. Make sure that you check your Junk Email.

I’ve forgotten my username. Who do I contact?
If you have forgotten your Username you will need to contact your State Manager directly and they will verify your account details.

I didn’t register for a position with the Customer Experience Team. Why did I receive a call asking if I would be interested in joining?
We conduct mystery shopping and auditing across Australia and New Zealand, in both metro and regional towns. As a result, we sometimes have to use alternative recruitment methods, such as proactive canvassing or ‘cold-calling’.

Who can be a mystery shopper?
Mystery shoppers are people from all different backgrounds who have a desire to improve the way retailers interact with their customers. No formal skills are necessary, however, you should have:
A good eye for detail and a good memory
• Good organisational skills and the ability to manage your own schedule
• High level written communication skills and intermediate computer skills
Flexibility to approach each job with an unbiased, open mind.
• The ability to interact with staff
You must also be at least 18 years of age to be a mystery shopper.

Who uses the results?
A wide variety of different retailers from small businesses to large companies utilise mystery shopping results as part of their ongoing staff training and incentive programs. These companies know that good service keeps their customers happy and that happy customers will return.

I’ve sent an email through ‘Contact Us’. When should I expect a response?
We get a high volume of emails but we endeavour to reply to emails within 24 hours.

What do I need to be a mystery shopper?
A mystery shopper must have:
• Regular access to a computer and the internet
• Access to transport or a way to get around

Is it flexible?
Yes! You manage your own workload so you simply accept jobs that fit in around your current schedule.

Can I take children with me?
In most instances jobs need to be conducted independently so you can’t take anyone with you, including children.

What training is provided?
We aim to be employer of choice and we want to make sure you have all the tools and training required to succeed in your new role.  With each mystery shopping job you accept, we provide you with detailed job documents that outline what to expect. We also have training documents as well as hints and tips available, which cover everything from how to make sure you visit the right store to how to write a good report. You can also contact your State Manager should you have any further questions – they’re here to help answer all your questions.

How much can I make?
The number of available jobs each month depends on your availability and the locations in which you have nominated to work. Naturally, if you live in a remote regional area, there will probably be fewer available jobs than there would be in a well-connected metro area. The frequency and nature of jobs available also depends on the needs of our clients as well as ‘shopper rotation’.  ‘Shopper rotation’ refers to the way in which we schedule jobs; this is so that the same shopper does not go back to the same store within a short period of time.

How do I determine a legitimate mystery shopping company from a scam?
There are a number of ways to check the legitimacy of a company.
• Check to see if their Australian Business Number (ABN) matches their business name: Creative Activation’s ABN is 91 122 102 701. Our ABN listing can be viewed here: http://www.abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbn.aspx?abn=91122102701
• See if the company is listed on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission: Creative Activation’s ASIC listing can be viewed here: http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c
• Contact the company: If you are unsure whether the company is real, you should try and contact the company and talk to them. Creative Activation’s head office contact phone number is 1300 CREATIVE. If you have questions relating to employment with Creative Activation, please call and you will be put through to someone who can answer your questions. Current mystery shoppers should contact their State Manager on their direct line. Your State Manager’s details are available through The Junction under ‘Help and Support’.
Email Addresses: Legitimate companies generally have business email addresses. Be careful of emails that have a free domain name such as @hotmail.com @google.com @yahoo.com @live.com. All communication sent from Creative Activation will come from an @creativeactivation.com.au email address.
• Company website: All mystery shopping companies should have a website. If there is no website or the website looks amateurish, you should be on high alert. Our website is www.creativeactivationjunction.com.au
• Paying to sign up: We strongly advise you against registering with companies that require you to pay money to sign up. There is no guarantee that you will be provided with jobs, so save your money and register elsewhere! Creative Activation does not require you to pay money to join.
• Get rich quick scams: Be careful of advertisements that claim to pay a lot of money. If the ad sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We will always advise you of the exact remuneration or reimbursement when each job is offered.
• Ask around: You can find Creative Activation and many other mystery shopping companies operating in Australia on the Australian Mystery Shoppers Forum. Here you will find other mystery shoppers who currently work for our company, as well as information about companies to avoid.

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How much does each job pay?

It depends on the requirements of job, but on average each job pays between $15-50, depending on the complexity, length, and if there is a purchase required. The cost of the purchase is always included in the total payment of the job.

Do you cover travel expenses?

Generally speaking, we don’t cover your travel expenses. As such, we suggest you only conduct mystery shops in your local area or in areas that you travel to on a regular basis. Occasionally there may be an opportunity to travel and in these cases any allowances are negotiated before the job commences.

What about payment and tax?

Mystery shoppers are paid for each job they complete; this can range from $15-$50 depending on the length and complexity of the job. Mystery shoppers are paid fortnightly, directly into their nominated bank account. Mystery shoppers are employees of Creative Activation and as such receive regular payslips and a Group Certificate at the end of the Financial Year (via your MyGov account). You do not need an ABN to work for us, only an Australian Tax File Number and the eligibility to work in Australia.

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I have questions about how to fill out my Payroll form. What do I do?

Please call our Customer Service team if you have any questions on the payroll form on 02 9968 5366 and someone will be able to assist you.

I’ve registered. When can I start mystery shopping?

Once you’ve registered and set up your "Available job regions" on your Junction profile, you will be able to start reviewing and accepting any mystery shops available in your "Available" jobs tab.

What do you mean by ‘Available Job Areas’?

These are the suburbs that you have selected as being accessible for you to complete jobs in; you will receive notifications of available jobs in these areas only. It’s a good idea to add not only your local areas, but also any suburbs that you travel to on a regular basis. That way you can accept jobs in these areas that fit in with your travel arrangements. If you wait until you are travelling, you may find that the jobs have already been accepted by other team members and you’ll miss out!

What happens to my personal information?

We use the information you provide in the registration process to match you to any vacancies we have. Creative Activation has a comprehensive Privacy Policy that applies to all information gathered for recruitment and employment purposes. This Privacy Policy meets the requirements of all Australian Privacy Legislation and National Privacy Principles.

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