Of course they can! Mystery Visiting: Stay in accommodation, visit venues and attractions and be paid to review them, by becoming a mystery shopper.

Have you ever wished that a restaurant, venue or accommodation would want to hear about your experience with them as a person with a disability or support carer of one? This is one of the exciting changes we are seeing where businesses such as NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) genuinely want to better understand and improve your experience with them. Not only will your assessment help others have a better experience, but you’ll also be paid for your efforts.

mystery Visiting

At Edge Insights, their mystery visitors are known as field analysts. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a full-time job. Rather, it’s an occasional hobby where you’re paid to dine at a restaurant or stay overnight in a hotel anywhere in Australia. Let me walk you through how you too can become a Field analyst at Edge Insights and be compensated for your efforts. I’ll also explain what is expected of you, should you become one.

How do I register to become a Field Analyst as a person with a disability?

At present all new visitors go to Edge Insights website, then click on ‘Mystery Visitors’ which takes you to a page where you fill in the details about yourself. This info goes to Garry Robilliard and his team at Edge Insights for review. If you are successful, you can then choose which visits you’d like to do, and perhaps incorporate your visit with a night or two away, making a travel event out of it.

How do I hear about upcoming mystery visits?

All visitors, (usually once a week) receive a newsletter or email, outlining all upcoming visits for the month, as well as upcoming planned assessments. That’ll help you plan a getaway by incorporating a Mystery Visit with your trip.

Do remember, it is up to the crew at Edge Insights as to whether you will be selected for an assessment. It depends on how many apply, and your profile fit. For example, if a venue caters to the over 55 years market, Edge Insights will select Field analysts fitting that demographic.

What do I need to do at the site visit?

mystery Visiting

If you have been selected and you have accepted the site visit, you’ll need to print off guidelines and report. You may be asked to call (the venue restaurant or accommodation), look through their social media pages (such as Facebook or Instagram) or their website before a visit, and the report is filled in as you go. Here are some examples of what Edge Insights will ask you:

  • Did you find their website easy to use?
  • Does their Instagram feed inspire you to want to visit the venue or accommodation?
  • Were the staff helpful and knowledgeable when you called?
  • How easy was the disability entry? Parking? Was there sufficient signage directing you?
  • Describe your first impression of the vibe or general feel of the venue, and comment on decor and smell of the venue
  • And how was the food presentation?
  • Did the staff upsell you, (e.g. asking if you’d like a dessert as well??
  • Did staff members display a good knowledge and understanding of the venue beer product? Explain your answer
  • Were any special requests/problems handled to your satisfaction?  
  • How was payment and departing the venue?

Image courtesy of Photo by Shangyou Shi 

Obviously, your notes and the report need to be discrete, after all, the staff aren’t meant to know you are mystery visiting their place. This way your experience is authentic and real.

What monetary reward do I receive?

As Garry explained, his team have run Mystery Visits for over 19 years, to businesses all over Australia. They are renowned for helping businesses review, improve and transform. Here are a few examples

Your brief in the report may be to order a drink, have a meal, or stay overnight in accommodation.  Every assessment is different. For example, you may order a meal up to the value of $100 and pay for it. Then once report is submitted, and your receipt sent in, you are reimbursed that $100, and usually compensated around $30 for writing the report.

All visits have a maximum expense limit, say in case of a restaurant, it would be $100, but of course, if you’ve only spent $60 that’s also fine.  Any amount over $100 is to be funded by yourself.

For accommodation, it is around $400. 

You pay and are reimbursed when your report & receipt submitted. Photo by Blake Wisz

Funds are paid into visitors account by Edge Insights, once the report is completed and reviewed, and reports sent to clients. In most cases, payment is made within 3 to 4 weeks of your mystery visit.   

How long do I have to do the assessment?

Your site visit is to be done in the month that is requested by Edge Insights.

mystery Visiting
Photo by Nick Morrison

Completing the report

The report is written up on your computer. Alternatively, your carer can write the report for you, based upon your own experience. Garry suggests Field Analysts save their work every 15 minutes, which is a button at the bottom of the report.  Also, best to spell check, which is another button on the side of the report.

What happens to the report after a business receives it?

Mystery visits can help make a difference.

You’ve provided a first-hand commentary on the business which will greatly assist management and staff and board members. It’ll help them improve their service through training, improvements in disability access and more.  As a Field Analyst or Mystery Visitor, it’s a win for you, and a win for the businesses wishing to improve their offering to people with disabilities.

Find out more by visiting Accessible Accommodation HERE. Or, visit their website HERE

Contact Edge Insights to register now. https://edgeinsights.com.au/

Let us know how you go!

Kerry x

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