Often when new mystery shoppers first sign up to work with their first mystery shopping providers, they have grand visions about the type of assignments they will work on. In their mind, many envision strolling through a shopper’s heaven of clothes, shoe racks, home décor and more, and getting paid for their time and effort. While some assignments are as amazing as mystery shoppers first dreamed they would be, other assignments are not nearly so glamorous, exciting or lucrative as they had hoped. Often, mystery shoppers pass up on phone assignments because they sound dull, don’t pay well or a combination of both. However, there are some reasons why mystery shoppers should give these assignments a second look.
The Time Commitment
There are many different types of phone assignments a mystery shopper can choose from. Some require you to purchase a pizza over the phone. Others require you to simply call and schedule a doctor’s appointment, request information on opening a new credit card account and more. Most of these assignments can be completed with a very short phone conversation. In fact, unless placed on hold, the entire conversation can be completed often in five minutes or less. Compare this to the typical time required to do a non-phone assignment. With travel to and from the location coupled with the time required to do the actual site visit, some other assignments may take 30 to 60 minutes to complete, if not longer.
The Ease of Work
Further, phone assignments are generally among the easiest assignments to complete. The assignment instructions may provide you with a few key questions to ask. A mystery shopper can have the instructions laid out in front of him or her while on the phone, and can jot down notes throughout the conversation. This is not possible with live site visits, and taking notes can make completing the report far easier. The report itself on such assignments often is also much shorter than the report on live site visits. Keep in mind that many questions regarding a live site visit involve the cleanliness of the store, the organization of merchandise, if displays were in the appropriate place, signage in the front of the store and more. The only aspect of a phone assignment that is typically requested involves the details of the conversation.
Many phone assignments do require a mystery shopper to call the store within a certain range of hours, but there often is flexibility in these hours. Sometimes a mystery shopper is provided a window over the course of several days within which the assignment must be completed. Such assignments are great for those who cannot or do not want to leave the home, such as stay-at-home parents who want to work while their children are napping, retirees who prefer to avoid fighting traffic and standing in lines and others.
The number of phone assignments available is often limited, so most mystery shoppers will not be able to earn a full-time living off of completing these assignments from home. However, they can be used as a great source of part-time income or in conjunction with other assignments that take a mystery shopper outside the home.