All the new age junta active on Twitter and Facebook always has something to crib out whenever they go out to shop or eat. Sometimes it’s about a pathetic experience and at other times it is about how the experience would have been better. RedQuanta is a startup that will now pay you to do all this.
RedQuanta, a portfolio company of The Morpheus, is testing the Mystery Shopping concept in India. Mystery Shopping is a popular beta testing model, in the developed economies, for real world end consumer businesses like spas/salons, restaurants, airlines, multiplexes, a printing shop or any business that believes that the end consumer experience is determinant of the business growth.
This is how Mystery Shopping with RedQuanta works:
1. As an end consumer you register with them for Mystery Shopping.
2. Depending on your profile and availability of assignments they assign you a visit to one of their customer outlets, say a multiplex.
3. As a mystery shopper you are expected to visit the place like a normal user but be just a little more observant. You are given a feedback form to detail out your shopping experience, so be more observant about points mentioned in the form.
4. Come back, fill up the forms and submit your bills from the visit and get the full amount reimbursed.
This way you end up getting your visit for free and the business owner gets a real user feedback. It could mean anything between a poster printing to a return flight ticket for no cost and you also get to offer a piece of your wisdom to the large business.
Mystery shopping is not a complaint system to track your employee’s behavior and fire the bad ones but actually to see how your employee training is resulting out in a real world scenario or how the system and work flow at the retail store is really working for the end consumer.
It’s a great way to beta test the consumer experience which one generally imagines only for hard coded systems like softwares and gadgets where no human touch is involved. In the developed economies there is a trend of mystery shopping your competitor as well to understand what you can add more to your services. Mystery shopping is also generally a part of the whole business process consultancy.
We wanted to mystery shop RedQuanta before reviewing them so I got one of my friends to try if they really have real assignments. One other mystery shopping service I registered with long ago hasn’t given me any assignment yet. Here is what the our mystery shopper has to say about working for RedQuanta as mystery shopper.
I had seen this mystery shopping thing on some show on Discovery, but did not know that it was practiced in India as well. I signed up with RedQuanta through a promo tweet about an assignment with a beauty salon. The assignment went through perfectly fine and then I was assigned another one with the same brand at a different outlet. There was some confusion in the assignment dates etc. due to communication failure from my end but i liked the way they handled it. I just completed my third assignment last weekend for a (free) movie + popcorn treat at a multiplex with the earlier 2 assignments already been paid for. There are some areas where the team needs to work more. From a shopper PoV they need to improve their web interface for form filling which currently isn’t very professional in use. From a business owner PoV i would have wanted to see more detail digging questions that not only points the negatives in the current system but also captures potential additions as compared to competitor. A mystery shopper may not offer these advices upfront, they have to be questioned and asked explicitly in the form. Also, it would be even better if they reimburse the travel expense as well ;-). Asking for too much?
Let us know what you think of Mystery Shopping as a concept. Do try an assignment with RedQuanta and share your experience.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]