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A short summary of a guy, who met Mystery Shopping, and was instantly dropped into the deepest waters with Switzerland as a Resource Manager.

The first encounter

During my interview in February 2015 at Bare International I was faced with the question, which country I thought was easy to schedule. Based on my previous experiences, I mentioned Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I had worked with people from these countries, and we always got on very well, so I thought it could not be really hard.

The nice lady, who was present (to be my boss for my first 6 months at Bare International), immediately told me, that Switzerland was anything but easy. But then she also told me that if I thought I could manage, she’d like to see it. Not very surprisingly, I ended up scheduling Switzerland two months later.

First steps as a Resource Manager

After the initial shock of starting at a new workplace, the first trainings and the takeover from my colleague, I ended up with a complicated project and a high number of visits to perform. And that was the time when I learned to trust and rely on my Evaluators – it was a really hard time, but it was worth the experience.

I received loads of help from my fantastic colleagues regarding the language problems – French is not my strongest side – and also in finding new people to work with us. Without them, my first few months would have been much harder.

I also had the privilege to organize and participate in a meeting with our Evaluators in Geneva. Although it was organized under strict deadlines, everyone enjoyed it nevertheless. Meeting the people who work for us helped me a lot – they know me now personally. We are more to each other, than a mere email address.

The current situation

I am very happy that I can work with all the Evaluators from Switzerland and with this post I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of them, who are helping me to do my job as best as I can. It is a pleasure to work with you all. Let’s continue this in the future as well!

Speaking about mystery shopping, BARE International is my first experience in this field, and I thought I’d try it myself – thanks to the scheduler for Hungary, I now have my first visits behind me. I can now tell my Evaluators not to be afraid of the visits or our system – both can be mastered. However, if something comes up, I’m always there to help.

 


 

Author: ÁkosÁkos_blogger_pic_edited

Ákos is a full-time employee of Bare International.
He works as a scheduler for Switzerland and is a member in the Social media team. He likes travelling, cars, and craft beers. He has a diploma in German Literature and a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Besides English and German, he is trying to master French and speaks Norwegian reasonably well.

 


Interested in becoming an Evaluator with BARE International?

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Mystery Evaluator’s Community?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

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A few years ago I was surfing on the internet when I saw the ad: „Get paid for shopping.”
Hahaha! Could it sound more like a scam? I am not falling for this. Or am I?

It somehow still made me thinking… Well, I heard about this guy who does mystery shopping and he never complained. Checking out the company’s website won’t hurt. I started exploring the page…
I saw logos of prestigious clients, I even discovered some brands I liked. I remembered, last time I went to that shop, the salesperson was really rude and I had the feeling I was ruining her life by asking for a smaller size of that shirt. How funny it would be to go to that very same shop and leave feedback about her. I will register.


What? Why on earth do they have to know how tall I am?
Later a friend told me that her boyfriend had registered for a mystery shopping company. They called him to offer him a mystery visit including a test drive with one of the world’s smallest car. They asked him how tall he was. After he said he was 1.92, the agent kindly apologized for having called him. He would not even fit in the tiny car.

 

And also my bank account number?
OK, they have to pay me somehow. I guess if it is only the account number, not the credit card number and my PIN, it is pretty safe. After I registered, I was checking my job-board regularly, but there were mostly visits which required owning a car, so I didn’t apply for any of them. As a funny twist in life, I came across another mystery shopping company when I was looking for a job. BARE International hired me as a recruiter. My job is to look for people in several countries, who are interested in doing mystery visits. I thought it would be beneficial to try mystery shopping, so that I can answer the people’s question and I know exactly what I am offering them

 

Mystery shopping, here I come! But how is it all done?
How could I learn it? I am so confused…oh, there is an online training! Sounds good. I went through the slides and the test, I have to admit it took a lot of time and I wanted to give up at some point. But I remembered, every time we start something new, we have to invest time and energy into learning it.

 

I visited my job-board and found some mystery calls.
Before the visit I had to read the long guidelines but at least I was confident on what to do while on the phone. When I finally dialed the call center, my knees were shaking like jelly and I thought they knew instantly that I was a mystery shopper. I was shivering and stuttering. It took at least 5 minutes to feel normal again. I will never forget that rush of adrenalin in my body. Fortunately, the customer service representative on a the other end of the line was doing a very decent job and I was happy to leave a feedback about him in the online questionnaire. I hope his boss will read it and he will get promoted! Since then I have done several mystery calls. Sometimes it was a pleasant experience.

 

Yet, other times I received terrible customer service.
First I felt very bad reporting about it in the questionnaire. I felt like I betrayed the customer service representative. But I developed this theory, that if they do not have the necessary communication skills and inner motivation to behave recpectfully with the customers, they should change jobs and do something they really like.

 

I can say that including the good and bad aspects, I became a fan of mystery shopping.
I like the adrenaline rush, when I start an assignment. I appreciate working in such a „green industry”. There is no production, no printing, everything goes online. Last but not least I like the moment when I receive the notification that my shop fee was transferred to my account. Some say the payment is low, but usually it’s enough to cover a good dinner in a restaurant. Money best spent.


 

Author: Szintia 1601260_10203075703433404_7153695029350124384_n

Szintia is an employee of Bare International.
Besides her work in the Social Media and Recruitment team, she loves sports, travelling, and she is learning her 6th language. She is a Couchsurfer. She has a master’s degree in Strategic HR Management and she is a professional pastry chef.

 


Interested in becoming an Evaluator with BARE International?

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Mystery Evaluator’s Community?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

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Have you ever had a priest and a driver in one person? As funny as it sounds, if you use car-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, BlaBlaCar or any other, you can easily find yourself in such a situation.


What is car-sharing?

There are two types of car-sharing: taxi-like services and peer-to-peer car-rental. The first one has been getting more and more popular, because it works like a taxi. You pay for your ride from A to B. In the latter case you rent someone else’s car.


Is the automotive industry really supporting car-sharing services?

The most interesting thing is that not just car-sharing service providers are in this business, but some actors from the automotive industry are also supporting this movement. But why does an automotive manufacturer support a car-sharing service? Isn’t that bad for the business? It seems on the contrary.


Car manufactures are also investing in car-sharing services

The biggest news at the beginning of the year was that General Motors invested $500 million in it, chasing the dream of the autonomous car. “We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” said GM President Dan Ammann in a statement. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly”wrote the Time – which, I must say, is pretty fascinating. Furthermore, because of the shift in consumer behaviour, other car manufacturers like Daimler or BMW have also started to develop their own car-sharing systems.

Imagine a world where self-driving vehicles are running on the roads and you can order a ride by clicking on an application on your phone. Would you like to travel with a BMW or a Chevrolet? Here you go!


Ok, but what’s in it for us? Why is it good to use car-sharing services?

  1. It is cheaper than using your own car alone or ordering a taxi.
  2. It is convenient, usually there is someone around you when you need a ride. This applies for bigger cities more of course, but who knows what will happen in the future?
  3. Enjoy a more carefree way of travelling, and do away with maintenance costs.
  4. And what is with the environment? The more people are using the same car, the smaller your ecological footprint will be.
  5. You can even earn money by sharing your car, but of course think about your national regulation first. Do some reading and choose the best-fitting solution for you.
  6. Get to know new people! It is always interesting to come to know some new faces, but proceed with caution.
  7. Thanks to the internet and the applications, you can also monitor your ride: when it will arrive, where you are exactly during the ride, and so on.

Now are you ready for the car-sharing experience? Share your thoughts with us!


 

Author: Anita @AnitaKocsis910facebook_profile picture

Anita is an employee of Bare International. Besides her work
at the Social Media and Recruitment team, she loves doing yoga,
travelling and reading. Her love for the automotive industry came
from the passion for innovations and technology. She has a master’s
degree in International Economics and Business.

 


 

Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

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I started working in the mystery shopping industry for BARE International in 2015.
BARE International is one of the market-leading companies providing mystery customer research and auditing services at a national and global level. A mystery evaluator is a freelancer who goes to specific shops pretending to be a regular customer whilst keeping an eye on all details, because after the store visit they have to answer questions about the customer service.

As a newcomer at the company I wanted to learn as much as possible.
I was curiously asking my colleagues about their positions and responsibilities. One key account manager told me that she was the main point of contact for the clients: she mapped their needs; she helped them set up the group of questions that mystery customers would have to answer, and reported the results to the clients.

Some clients need help in setting up the questions?
It fully surprised me. I have to admit I have full respect for our clients: they realized the importance of customer satisfaction, they are ready to get feedback and they are even paying for it.
But how can one ask for feedback if one is not even sure what he or she wants to know? It made me think…

There can be a parallel drawn between customer satisfaction and life satisfaction.
I work in an industry where we sell feedback to clients who ask for it. These companies have a healthy level of self-criticism to hear an honest opinion about the customer service they provide. They are ready to hear it. They are keen on improving.

Are we ready to receive a detailed feedback about our lives?
We don’t necessarily have to ask others to provide it in the first place. Mystery evaluation made me realize that the most important thing is to be able to set up our questionnaire and to be aware of what the most crucial things are for us to be satisfied. I think my questions would be: Do I spend enough time with the ones I love? Do I keep travelling? Is there enough music and sport in my life? Am I in a good mood on Monday mornings? Can I be proud of my professional and private life achievements when I look back to past years? The list is much longer of course, and will be changing constantly during the course of my life.

What questions would you ask yourself?
Have you thought about them yet?
Are you ready to give yourself feedback?


 

Author: Szintia 1601260_10203075703433404_7153695029350124384_n

Szintia is an employee of Bare International.
Besides her work in the Social Media and Recruitment team, she loves sports, travelling, and she is learning her 6th language. She is a Couchsurfer. She has a master’s degree in Strategic HR Management and she is a professional pastry chef.

 


Interested in becoming an Evaluator with BARE International?

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Mystery Evaluator’s Community?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com