How do you find the idea of shopping and then getting paid for doing it? Cool, right? Well, that is precisely what a telephone mystery shopping job is all about, and we’ll tell you more about that in the next sections.
So, you love shopping. At the same time, you like the idea of earning money while shopping.
Guess what? That makes you a perfect candidate for a telephone mystery shopping job.
According to a report by the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – North America, “mystery shopping has been a standard business practice used as far back as the early 1940s when retail became a major force in the U.S. economy“. Since that time, mystery shopping evolved as “a tool used extremely by market research companies and watchdog organizations, and internally by companies themselves“.
Furthermore, the report states that mystery shopping is done for three major purposes:
- to measure the quality of service,
- to evaluate compliance with regulations and workforce development, and
- to gather specific information about products and services.
That been said, it’s safe to say that mystery shoppers play an important role in the business industry, particularly in ensuring that a business is able to provide the best possible service and/or products to the consumers.
To be honest, the idea of working as a mystery shopper is quite exciting, but in reality, it also can be challenging. It is challenging in the sense that you have to be articulate, and you must be able to provide feedback on the service or the product you received without bias.
You know, at the end of the day, you are being paid to provide that information so business gets to either maintain or keep the kind of service and/or product they provide.
Now, moving on, as mentioned, today, we are going to particularly tackle the telephone mystery shopping job. Obviously, it’s a mystery shopping kind of job but by phone.
We are going to provide you essential information – basically, some of the most important things you need to know if you want to try out working as a telephone mystery shopper.
With that said, here are what we are going to talk about in particular:
- What is telephone mystery shopping all about?
- How does telephone mystery shopping work?
- What are the advantages of working as a telephone mystery shopper?
- What are the disadvantages of working as a telephone mystery shopper?
- What are the requirements to be considered for a telephone mystery shopping job?
- How much does a telephone mystery shopper make?
- Where to find telephone mystery shopping jobs?
WHAT IS TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPING ALL ABOUT?
Now, before we talk fully about telephone mystery shopping, here’s a very informative video from CBS Chicago about what mystery shopping is all about. This definitely is a good resource to deepen your understanding of this industry:
Now, at this point, we are going to be specific — specifically talking about what telephone mystery shopping is all about.
First of all, mystery shopping may be done in different ways — you can do mystery shopping by physically going to a store, you may do it online, or in this case, by phone.
Telephone mystery shopping is involving competent, smart, and well-briefed mystery shoppers calling a business or a store and then, posing either as a potential customer or as an existing one.
The telephone mystery shopper will then do the task as required, and generally, every after a call has been made, the telephone mystery shopper writes a report, and make it available depending on what the client requires — it could be made available for public use or could be for internal use only.
Normally, it is the company owners who hire mystery shoppers to check and see if the people are doing what they’re expected to do or to see if their process is effective.
Similar to what we have mentioned earlier, telephone mystery shopping is done for the purpose of measuring the quality of service, evaluating compliance with regulations and workforce development, and in gathering specific information about products and services.
HOW DOES TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPING WORK?
Generally speaking, companies hire telephone mystery shoppers because they are interested in an objective evaluation of their customer service department.
Of course, to become a telephone mystery shopper, you have to qualify for a particular mystery shopping gig.
However, to be specific, you will have to do the following procedure:
- Sign up on a mystery shopping website. First of all, you have to go to a website that offers telephone mystery shopping gigs (later on, we’ll share with you a list of sites you can visit). Then, you will have to complete an application form. Details needed to vary from one site to another, but generally, they will require you to share some personal details.
- Once qualified, gigs with instructions on how to perform them will be offered. This process includes getting specific information, and in some cases, you may be given a specific scenario to work with. Please note that by following these instructions, these will greatly affect in determining your payment.
- A toll-free phone routing to the client company may be provided. There are companies that provide a toll-free telephone number that routes to the client company through the mystery shopping company. However, in other cases, you, the telephone mystery shopper may be responsible for the cost of the calls.
- Write a report after making calls. As a telephone mystery shopper, one of your roles is to write a report wherein you rate the quality of your experience, and give impressions or feedback regarding your whole customer service experience. It is also important to note that some companies may require you to record your phone call conversation. So, be sure that you know and understand fully the instructions from the mystery shopping company so you get to provide exactly what they need.
- Submit the report and get paid. Lastly, after submitting the report, expect to receive your payment. Please note that every mystery shopping company does have their respective payment schedule and structure. So, it’s best to find that out before signing up to ensure it meets your expectations/requirements.
IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPER
Before we continue on, we thought it is just right that you know and fully understand what telephone mystery shopping is all about.
So, here are a few important things you need to know about being a telephone mystery shopper:
- It does not bring a substantial amount of money. If you are thinking about making it a substitute for your regular job, we got to tell you, it’s not. This kind of gig is only ideal if you are looking for other ways to make money outside your regular job, or that you are a stay-at-home mom who wants to make use of her spare time to make extra money for the family or an extra few bucks to buy a home or baby stuff.
- You are hired as an independent contractor, thus, you have to be responsible for your own taxes. Unlike a typical regular job, you won’t be asked to fill out a W4. So, make sure to track how much you earn and set aside the right amount for your taxes.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WORKING AS A TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPER?
As stated in the question above, in this section, we are going to talk about the benefits of working as a telephone mystery shopper.
By now, you probably understand that this kind of job can be done in a home setting. Meaning, it’s a work from home, a remote job. You can do it anytime and anywhere you want to, which is actually one of the many benefits you get from being a telephone mystery shopper. But, here are a few more:
- Predictable Income. For some people, knowing how much they earn in a month is an advantage. That way, they know how to work around their budget. If you are that kind of person, telephone mystery shopping would be great for you. Apparently, in some (if not most) cases, companies expect you to work a minimum number of hours a week, thus, you know how much you make at the end of the week or month, or so.
- Offers Flexibility. Obviously, similar to most work from home jobs, working as a telephone mystery shopper offers flexibility. As mentioned earlier, it allows you to work anytime you want to, anywhere you are.
- You Can Be You. As a telephone mystery shopper, you can simply be you — how you are as a typical customer. You do not need to act to be somebody else. At the end of the day, you are a customer, and you have to rate the customer service provided by the business or store. The only difference is that you report your findings or feedback to the company.
- Offers Jobs Worldwide. Although not all, some companies actually offer telephone mystery shopping jobs not just across the United States, but also across the world. This makes it even more ideal if you want to travel or if you speak another language apart from English.
- More Work, More Offer. In most cases, the more work you do, the more likely you are to receive more offers, which means more chances of earning.
- No Previous Work Experience Required. Unlike other jobs out there, the vast majority of companies hiring for a telephone mystery shopper do not require previous work experience, which means anyone is welcome regardless of your work background. Generally, companies’ primary concern is not about your educational attainment, but your ability to perform the task at hand.
So yeah, these are just some of the pros that you will get to experience working as a telephone mystery shopper. Now, let’s proceed to the disadvantages —
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF WORKING AS TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPER?
In the previous section, we talked about the benefits you get to experience working as a telephone mystery shopper, this time, we’ll talk about the disadvantages or the downsides of working as one.
Some of the disadvantages of getting into a telephone mystery shopping job includes:
- Not a Good Substitute for a Regular Job. As mentioned earlier, although it’s a fun job, it’s not as satisfying as a regular job financially speaking. So, if you are looking for a job that will help sustain your day-t0-day needs or your monthly budget, this may not be a perfect choice.
- You Do Your Taxes. Once you get into a telephone mystery shopping job, you will be responsible for your own taxes, which means you need to keep track of your salary. The reason for that is because you are hired as an independent contractor, and just like any other independent contractor, you have to do your part when it comes to paying your taxes.
- Lots of Scammers. Unfortunately, there are lots of scammers out there. So, when looking for a telephone mystery shopping job, make sure to do your research first before you even apply for a job post.
- Age Requirement. If you are 18 years old and below, this may not be the right side hustle for you. Most companies require you to be at least 18 years old to be able to get into a telephone mystery shopping job.
There you have it! These are just some of the downsides of working as a telephone mystery shopping.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPING JOB?
So, we’re done talking about the pros and cons of working as a telephone mystery shopper, how the job works, etc. This time, let’s talk about who actually qualifies for the job.
We understand that by now you are already curious if you are eligible for the job or not, so, here are some of the common requirements for the job –
Normally, companies require candidates for the job to be at least 18 years old. You will also be expected to use your own mobile phone, which means, you have to have one — we highly suggest to have a separate phone for this to keep your personal number’s privacy.
Furthermore, you will need to have access to a computer, and since you will be submitting reports through email, having a reliable internet connection will also be required.
Fortunately, most companies — if not all — does not require any specific educational requirement, as well as previous work experience. As long as you are able to do the job, you can apply.
At the end of the day, companies are after your output. That’s all that matters.
By the way, once your application is accepted, some companies may require you to complete a company’s training or work for a probationary period — it really depends, though, on the company. Every company does have its respective rules when it comes to this.
HOW MUCH DOES A TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPER MAKE?
Of course, one of the most important information you need — how much the pay is?
Although it cannot replace your full-time or part-time job, one thing’s for sure, you are paid a decent amount for the job that you do.
How much you make depends, of course, on the company that you are working for. Needless to say, it also varies depending on the call you have completed.
However, your potential earnings could be around $15 to $25 per hour. Again, it depends — so there’d be times it could be less than that, or at other times, higher.
WHERE TO FIND TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPING JOBS?
If by now, you are decided to work as a telephone mystery shopper, well, good for you! In this section, we are going to provide you with some of the sites where you can apply for a telephone mystery shopping job.
To get you started, here are some of the sites where you can look for a telephone mystery shopping job:
Based in Orange, Connecticut, ARC, as stated on its website, is a company that provides serviced to contact centers of any size not only in the country but globally, and in every avenue of business.
ARC continuously look for mystery shoppers — particularly those with “excellent telephone presence, keenly developed listening skills, strong attention to detail, excellent writing skills, and objectivity”.
Although it started as a training consulting service, Confero eventually evolved into the company that it is today since its involvement with the formation of the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA).
Confero particularly evaluates call centers or individuals locations. Basically, calls are recorded so that their clients can listen in at any time so they get to hear how their employees handle calls and if they are doing their job well.
We all know FlexJobs. Although it caters to a lot of different job listings across various industries, the site also caters to job listings on telephone mystery shopping.
What’s nice about FlexJobs as compared to other job listing sites is that it screens every job listing, which helps ensure its legitimacy. The only downside is that it does charge a small subscription fee for that particular service.
InteliCheck provides its clients with a “powerful combination of strategic insight, business acumen, and an entrepreneurial spirit to help them keep pace in this intensely competitive and rapidly changing marketplace”.
The company is surely a credible one. Now, if you are accepted for the job, you are most likely to be a regular shopper, which means you are required to be available for the job for at least 15 hours a week.
It is important to note though that InteliChek is one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the United States, which means most calls will be within the automotive industry. If you are not interested in this topic, you better check other companies instead.
As a Perception Strategies mystery shopper, your job is to evaluate the patient, as well as the consumer experience in the healthcare industry.
Yes, obviously, you have to be interested in this topic so you get to relate to and understand the job.
As stated on its website, the company “has built a reputation on delivering onsite, actionable intelligence our clients can trust to make crucial business decisions“.
Secret Shopper has been operating since 1990, and it’s definitely the place to be if you are looking for a mystery shopping job.
It caters to mystery shoppers not only in the country but all over the world — across different platforms (onsite, online, and on the phone).
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TELEPHONE MYSTERY SHOPPING JOB
There you have it! We hope that through the information we shared, we are able to give clarity to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding telephone mystery shopping.
Do you find yourself working as one anytime soon?