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Get Paid To Shop Certification Course

Module 7

Prompting Vs Opportunity

Shadow shopping is just as much about finding and rewarding employees who are doing the right thing as it is about finding non-compliance with company standards.

mystery shopper couple

Giving Opportunity For Staff To Do The Right Thing

As a Shadow Shopper you must give the employee the opportunity to show that they are willing and able to comply with company standards.

This is very important: Shadow Shoppers are not there to 'trick' employees into doing the wrong thing. They are there to find out the real customer experience, so as a Shadow Shopper you must give the staff every chance to demonstrate their compliance with company standards.

As a Shadow Shopper you must interact with them as a real customer would, so that they can show how they react in a 'normal' situation. However, while a Shadow Shopper must provide the opportunity, they must not prompt or lead.

Let's look at the difference between giving staff opportunity as opposed to prompting them to get the behaviour you are looking for.


Suppose you are shadow shopping a coffee shop and it is their standard to greet all customers and show them to a table. If you just walk past the staff and sit down at a table this is not giving them the chance to greet you and show you to a table. In other words, apart from being rude, you have not given them the opportunity to show their compliance with the standards.

Always give the employee a chance to demonstrate the standard you are looking for.


A client standard may be that all customers are to be asked if they want additional items. We are all familiar with 'Do you want fries with that?'

Ordering and paying for a burger is giving the employee the opportunity to ask you if you want the fries. Asking them how much it costs for extra fries is prompting.

Shadow Shoppers must not
prompt during an assignment

mystery shopper couple

Greeting On Entering

One of the most common opportunities that must be given is for the employee to greet you on entering the store or business.

Make sure that you give them this opportunity. Make it easy for them to see you. Don't walk in when the entrance is crowded, or slip in behind another customer. But don't speak first, or nod, or acknowledge them until after they have greeted you. Then, of course, you will be friendly and polite, as a shadow shopper always should!


Give the opportunity for the employee
to demonstrate the behaviour,
but don't prompt for the desired response.

mystery shopper couple

Other Topics In This Module

Other topics in this module include:

  • Examples of Prompting

  • Examples of Giving Opportunity

  • Greeting On Entry - What To Look For

  • Key Points

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