Focus Marketing, as a member of MSPA – the international organism dedicated to delivering high quality mystery shopping services throughout the world – scrupulously adheres to its safety protocols to ensure the prevention of infection and the transmission of Covid-19 infection during the Mystery Shopping activity.
Focus Marketing will scrupulously follow the guidelines of its country, respecting the legislation and protocols issued by national and local government authorities and health departments.
It will respect the protocols of the various business sectors and customers, always ensuring that they comply with national and regional legislative requirements.
Focus Marketing will ensure that, as a service provider, it has contractual legal protection and does not take responsibility for any damage caused by Covid-19.
The agreements must provide for the new security obligations that must be respected by the customer and the possible penalties for non-compliance.
Moreover, we will try to verify that the customer is adequately protected as indicated by local authorities.
Where this isn’t possible, customers will be asked to accept the risk associated with the assignment and, consequently, relieve the Institute from any responsibility. Focus Marketing will also authorize the mystery shopper not to carry out a visit where there is evidence that the store visited doesn’t comply with any of the local regulations or specific requirements relating to Covid-19.
In this case, the shopper will immediately make a hot alert report to the Institute.
The contract between the Institute and the customer must detail all the safety and behavioural measures imposed on the shopper for their own safety.
Focus Marketing will consider and suggest the possibility of using alternative methods to the face to face visit to carry out the assignment or part of it (telephone, online etc.). If this is not possible, we will proceed by evaluating together the objectives and risks associated with carrying out the activity.
As a Mystery Shopping provider, Focus Marketing will present its guideline to the customer and ask for their approval in writing.
The changes to be made to the questionnaires will be agreed in writing with the customer in sight of this new scenario.
The Institute will agree on the timing with each customer for each mystery activity. The visits will probably last longer to respect the waiting lines to enter in the stores and therefore the field timing may vary.
Guidelines for shoppers:
The selection procedures for Mystery Shoppers will, if possible, be even more careful and scrupulous.
We will submit to the shopper a screening questionnaire, with questions related to Covid-19, during the recruitment and acceptance of the assignment, where it will be specified that the shopper will carry out the assignment in full awareness of the delicacy of the period we are experiencing.
Since it will not be possible to include health screening questions to ensure compliance with the GDPR, all shoppers must sign that they understand the risk associated with the assignment, to take full responsibility for carrying out mystery shopping visits, to be in good health and to coply with applicable laws.
Shoppers will not be allowed to make visits if sick, with cough, shortness of breath, temperature above 37° or with any other symptoms identified by the local health authority as an indicator of infection; in addition, they will have to abstain from work, even if they are asymptomatic, if they are aware that they have been in contact with symptomatic people or infected patients in the last 14 days.
Further precautions will be taken with shoppers who have health problems identified by the local health authority as high risk and or low immunity.
Regardless of whether or not it is required by local legislation, we will recommend shoppers to always wear masks, to bring hand sanitizers with a minimum alcohol content of 70%.
Shoppers can stop the visit if at any time they feel at risk, immediately informing our Institute, in particular, where there is evidence that the store visited doesn’t comply with any of the local regulations or specific requirements relating to Covid-19.
Shoppers will be advised not to complete the assignment if this can pose a significant risk to them. For example, if entering a store you notice that employees aren’t wearing a mask or that the number of customers is clearly greater than the maximum allowed to guarantee compliance with the minimum distance, the shopper will have to consider the visit as completed and report results, promptly report this type of situation, so the customers can be notified quickly and the situation can be corrected as soon as possible.
Social distances must be strictly maintained, 1 or 2 meters, depending on local regulations; be aware of retailers’ safety standards; use hand sanitizers when entering a store.
In case of purchase, it is recommended to use a debit or credit card, therefore contactless payments, to avoid cash.
To further guarantee future safety, the Institute will insert in the visit report an open comment box, not visible to the customer, with a question: “Did you feel safe and have comments or recommendations on health and safety problems?”
Let’s get back to work by protecting everyone’s health and safety!