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How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

Michigan
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How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

I’d love to work for a hotel chain as a sort of “secret shopper”... you know, Stay at a property, see how it stacks up against its own brand standards, rate it, write up a report, that kind of thing. Does anyone know how to get that kind of job?

9 replies to this topic
Seattle, WA
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1. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

I only know of secret shoppers as an external job, paid per review, and these are very low-paying and often a bit scammy. There are companies like this - https://www.coylehospitality.com/evaluators/ if you search hotel secret shopping. I don't know if any or which are reputable.

Internally, hotels have people in quality assurance / quality control, but it doesn't involve staying at the properties and writing a review. I think we'd all like that job! :)

Here's an example - https:/…

I would think generally you would work up to this through related work, internally working front of house hotel jobs, having FOH staff management jobs, or experience in other hospitality quality control.

If you're still interested in this role even though it's a normal go to work, not stay overnight at hotels sort of job, I'd suggest going to career fairs with hotels, and reaching out to people on LinkedIn with similar jobs, to ask advice on how they got where they are.

Edited: 09 August 2018, 21:42
Lewes, United...
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2. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

I rather suspect that if you feel this public forum is the right place to ask this type of question, you may not meet the requirements of the hotel chain's idea of a secret shopper.

SWT

London, United...
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3. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

If you have an MA in Hotel management or hospitality and a few years of working in hotels then you might be in with a chance, otherwise you probably need to work your way up within a hotel chain.

Bear in mind the number of jobs of the sort you’re looking for has reduced dramatically since the advent of sites like TA which allow the service sector to get feedback from customers with more ease than they might sometimes wish!

Wales, United...
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4. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

When I was working in the hospitality industry for a pub company, we used external agencies to carry out mystery shopping exercises. I should imagine that hotels will either do the same, or have an in house department doing it. Either way, I'd expect competition for such roles to be fierce, and successful candidates would likely have experience and/or qualifications in the industry as bcc has suggested.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

Global agencies like LQA have a shortlist of candidates in regions around the world, and task them with staying in-house over multiple nights to assess service quality and delivery standards.

In my interaction with their auditors, some have had industry experience, but many have not. They are from varied backgrounds such as accounting, HR, psychology, computer science.

The one thing they all have in common, is that they are exceptional communicators, both in writing and verbally.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

Secret shoppers are few and far between now a days. Its like saying you want to be a restaurant reviewer. Just because you enjoy food, does not mean you will get a job writing reviews. Like secret shoppers these jobs go to writers, or travel writers.

I worked in retail for a long time. They too use to use secret shoppers, but this has come and gone. They no longer value the opinion of one person each month to dictate how the business is doing. They now utilize social media reviews (like Trip Advisor), by using in room hotel survey cards to rate various parts of the experience, or by getting reviews from guests via email after their stay. For restaurants or coffee shops (like Starbucks) you get a survey invite via email). This data is a lot more detailed and quantitive.

Hotels and chain restaurants also hire third party companies that check the overall cleanliness or standards of a property. For the standards, design, or marketing side of business they have regional managers that also oversee the financial growth of the area.

What you can do is become a travel writer. You travel to various hotels, write a lengthily review then post it to your website or blog. Or create a YouTube channel. For both these channels you make money by ads and view count. You can also earn points through a credit card, or hotel rewards program which will earn you free flights or stays.

Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

If in the USA, I would start here: https://sha.cornell.edu

Best of luck,

Hunt

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

Ahhh Ithaca.

Like the Twin Peaks of New York 😊

You’d hope to be a little more than a mystery shopper if you’ve gone to that school 😂

Edited: 12 August 2018, 01:06
Hong Kong, China
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9. Re: How do I become a “secret shopper” of sorts?

As said, many of such services are out sourced... and for smaller business the 'secret shopper' has to double as sales person i.e. one will have to contact the hotel selling the service before you get to 'staying at the hotel'.

For 'work', you will have to survey many of the services and facilities (not just 'choose as you like') and then write a details report (not a TA style few sentences 'review', it takes hours if not days to complete) including pros and cons, solution plans (base on facts and statistic). In case it's all good, suggest on how to sustain such high standard or even improve further.

Very much like people fantasizing air crews being able to 'traveling around the world with allowances', being a full time 'secret shopper' (quality assurance) is not just a simple 'Stay at a property, see how it stacks up against its own brand standards, rate it, write up a report, that kind of thing'...

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